Bogotà Geography and History


Flag of BogotaBogotá, Distrito Capital, until 2000 called Santa Fé de Bogotá, is the capital city of Colombia. It is also designated by the national constitution as the capital of the department of Cundinamarca, even though the city of Bogotá now comprises an independent Capital district and no longer belongs administratively to that department.
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Bogotá is the most populous city in the country, with an estimated 7,304,384 inhabitants as of 2009. Bogotá and its metropolitan area, which includes municipalities such as Chía, Cota, Soacha, Cajicá and La Calera, had an estimated population of 8,566,926 in 2009.
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In terms of land area, Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia, one of the biggest of Latin America, figures in the 30th largest cities of the world, and it is the third-highest capital city in the world (after La Paz and Quito) at 2625 metres above sea level. With its many universities and libraries, Bogotá has become known as "The Athens of South America". Bogotá owns the biggest moorland of the world, which is located in the Sumapaz Locality.

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Location and Orientation
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Bogotá is located on the west of the Savannah of Bogotá (Sabana de Bogotá), 2640 meters (8661 ft) above sea level. Although it is located in what is popularly called the "sabana", literally meaning "savannah", the geographical site is actually a high plateau in the Andes mountains. The extended region is also known as "Altiplano Cundiboyacense" which literally means "high plateau of Cundinamarca and Boyacá".

The Bogotá River crosses the "sabana", forming Tequendama Falls (Salto de Tequendama) to the south. Tributary rivers form valleys with flourishing villages, whose economy is based on agriculture, livestock raising and artisanal production.
The "Sabana" is bordered to the east by the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes mountain range. Surrounding hills, which limit city growth, run from south to north, parallel to the Guadalupe and Monserrate mountains. The western city limit is the Bogotá River. The Sumapaz Paramo (moorland) borders the south and to the north Bogotá extends over the plateau up to the towns of Chía and Sopó.

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Climate
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=> Click here to check weather forecast in Bogota


Bogotá has a subtropical highland climate!
This makes the city's weather unpredictable; sunny mornings can turn out into a severe-storm afternoon (something commonly referred as "Sol de Lluvia" (literally, "Rainy Sun"). Days are mild or cool and nights can get moderately cold due to the city having mild winds in the night all year round. While temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the year, weather conditions can change dramatically during the course of a single day.

The average temperature on the "sabana" is 14.0 °C (57 °F), varying from 3 to 25 °C (37 to 77 °F) during the course of the day. Dry and rainy seasons alternate throughout the year. The driest months are December, January, February and March. The warmest month is March, bringing a maximum of 19.7 °C (67.5 °F). The coolest nights occur in January, with an average of 5.4 °C (41.7 °F) in the city; temperatures can fall below freezing in the nearby towns causing frosts and fog in early morning. The rainiest months are April, May, September, October and November, in which typical days are mostly overcast, with low clouds and some winds, bringing maximum temperatures of 18 °C (64 °F) and lows of 7 °C (45 °F). June and July are usually rainy periods and August is sunny with high winds. Hailstorms are very common during the rainy season, and can be very strong, especially in October.

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A short history

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Bogotá was originally called "Bacatá" (which means "planted fields") by the Muiscas. It was the center of their civilization before Spanish explorers colonized the area, and it sustained a large population. The European settlement was founded on August 6, 1538 by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and was named "Santa Fé de Bacatá" after his birthplace Santa Fé and the local name. "Bacatá" had become the modern "Bogotá" by the time it was made the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada, which was then part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, and later of the Viceroyalty of New Granada. The city soon became one of the centers of Spanish colonial power and civilization in South America.

In 1810–11 its citizens revolted against Spanish
rule and set up a government of their own, but had to contend with internal divisions and the temporary return to power of Spanish military loyalists who regained control of the city in 1816. In 1819 Simón Bolívar liberated it after his victory at Boyacá. Bogotá was then made the capital of Gran Colombia, a federation combining the territories of modern Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. When Gran Colombia was broken up, Bogotá remained the capital of New Granada, which later became the Republic of Colombia.

In 1956 the municipality was joined to other neighboring
municipalities forming a "Special District" (Spanish: Distrito Especial). The Constitution of 1991 confirmed Bogotá as the Capital of Colombia, gave it the name "Santafé de Bogotá", and changed the category from Special District to "Capital District" (Distrito Capital).

In August 2000 the official name was changed back to simply "Bogotá".
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