Barefoot Park is one of Medellin's special public spaces. Next to EPM's headquartes, known as the intelegent building, The park is designed to feel good on your feet. It has sand pits water pools and a pool with jacussi style jets, all to get you to take off your shoes and enjoy a barefoot walk.
Medellin is a city of public art. In fact, I heard from someone that every building, it is required by law (please don't quote me on this) to have a sculpture outside. It is such a delight to walk around the city and hunt down these sculptures.
Some memorable ones are mentioned below:
- La Gorda (The Fat Lady) by Fernando Botero is found at Parque Berrio (Parque Berrio metro station). Next to her butt, yours looks very trim indeed.
- Monumento a la Raza by Rodrigo Arenas Betancur is found at Centro Administrativo La Alpujarra (Alpujarra metro station). Do make it a point to check this one out. I guarantee you will walk towards it, dazed, with your jaws hanging open.
- Monumento a la Vida by Betancur is further out of the city centre but quite walkable from Suramericana metro station. This is also quite impressive as well but slightly less so than the 'Raza' one.
- There is another one by Betancur, Monumento al Creador de la Energia, is located at Universidad de Antioquia but although I went there, I think I forgot to hunt for it, so I have not much recollection of the sculpture. *sorry*
El Poblado district is the wealthiest part of Medellín. It is situated about 4 km south of the city centre and it can be reached by metro. Here you will find upmarket hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and night clubs. Many of the restaurants and nightclubs are situated around Parque Lleras (that area is also called Zona Rosa).
It was around what today is Parque de el Poblado that the first Spaniards settled in the Aburrá Valley in 1616. Later the inhabitants moved more north.
Botero is from Antioquia, he is Piasa, as they call themselves, and he has donated a huge amount of art to Medellin. Known for his paintings of chubby, larger than life charicters. I am a much bigger fan of his smooth Chubby, cartoonish metal statues.
Most of his works congragate in the square in front of the Antioquia Museam and the Botero Donation.
Entitled "Thoughts", I guess he has a woman on his mind.
"Bird of Peace"
One Botero that is not in the square was the sight of a 1994 bombing by the guerillas that killed 14 inocent people. The bomb, left in a backpack by the statue litterally tore a hole through the statue. Botero made an exact copy as a replacement but the City decided to leave the orriginal standing, next to it's uninjured sibling as a reminder of the horors of terrorism and the need for peace.