Old Caracas (Centro), Caracas
CARACAS IS A VERY UNSAFE AND DANGEROUS PLACE TO VISIT.
AFTER 8PM YOU CANT GO OUTSIDE UNLESS YOU WANNA BE DEATH.
I FLOWN FROM CANADA TO VENEZUELA. AND LET ME TELL YOU. IN JUST ONE WEEK I WAS STOLEN TWICE .
SO THINK TWICE YOU TRAVEL TO THIS DANGEROUS COUNTRY AND DONT WASTE DOLLARS AND TIME COMMING HERE
The Concejo Municipal (City Hall) is situated on the south side of Plaza Bolívar. The building was constructed during the 17th century to house a seminary. Later it became home of the university. Besides the City Council there is now a museum, Museo Santana, in the building. In the museum you can see miniature models made, by the artist Raúl Santana. The models depict life in past times in Venezuela. There are also old photos, some archaeological finds and a few paintings. In Concejo Muncipal you can also visit Capilla de Santa Rosa de Lima, which is where Venezuela’s independence was declared in 1811, but it was not until 1821 that Venezuela became liberated.
Admission is free.
The Concejo Muncipal is open to visitors between 9.00 - 12.30 and between 14.00 - 16.30.
This building was originally built to house the Colegio Seminario de Santa Rosa de Lima in the second half of the 17th century. In 1725 the Real y Pontificia Universidad de Caracas was established there.
Nowadays it is the seat of the Municipal Council. I did not have time to go inside but I understand that part of it is open to the public (closed Mondays).
The Casa Amarilla (Yellow House) on the western side of Plaza Bolivar was built in the 17th century and was originally used as a royal prison.
After independence, it was painted yellow and converted into a presidential residence.
Nowadays it is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and is not open to the public.
This square is in the heart of the historic centre of Caracas. In the centre is an equestrian statue of Simon Bolivar.
Around the square can be found a number of historic buildings: the cathedral; the Museo Sacro de Caracas, the Casa Amarilla and the Concejo Municipal.
The square is a favourite place for political and religious speeches.
Some blocks north of Plaza Bolívar is the Panteón Nacional, the resting place of the Liberator of Venezuela, Simón Bolívar. Not only Bolívar’s tomb is here but also the tombs of many more of Venezuela’s heroes.
When I was there the building was closed for cleaning as Paraguay’s or Uruguay’s president was coming for a visit the day after. We were welcome back after his visit, but by then I would be on Los Roques. Well, at least we could get a glimpse (and a photo) of the interior through the glass blocking the entrance.
The Panteón Nacional is open between 9 - 16 on Tuesdays - Fridays and between 10 - 16.30 on Saturdays - Sundays.
Admission is free.
The Cathedral is standing in the north-eastern corner of Plaza Bolívar. There has been a chapel or church at this site since the middle of the 16th century. The present cathedral was built between 1665 and 1713.
There are many side chapels and great religious art in the cathedral. One of the side chapels is the Bolívar Family Chapel where Simón Bolívar’s parents and wife are buried. This is also where Simón Bolívar was baptised.
Casa Amarilla is a beautiful colonial mansion standing on the west side of Plaza Bolívar. It is from 1689, which makes it one of the oldest buildings in town. From the beginning the building was used as a royal prison, but after independence it was turned into the presidential residence. It was at that time it was painted yellow and from the colour it has got its name. Amarillo is yellow in Spanish.
Interestingly, the centre of Caracas which is divided into squarish blocks (very common amongst planned cities of South America) has a unique feature.
The CORNERS of these street intersections are NAMED. Meanwhile, the criss-crossing streets are NUMBERED with North (Norte), South (Sur), East (Este), West (Oeste).
So, instead of saying, "See you at the corner of XXX and YYY", you say, "See you at Aurora"... which your friend then has to wreck the brain to recall that Aurora is at the corner of Norte 10 and Oeste 7.
As you can imagine, m-a-n-y names are required and this exercise was soon wisely abandoned by the city-planners once out of the immediate city centre.
Here, you can see the usual Cathedral, Plaza Bolivar and various other museums and churches. Pleasant enough for a stroll.
La Iglesia de San Francisco (San Francisco church) was built in between 1745 adn 1887. Is one of the most beautiful churches in Venezuela; is one of the best examples of our local barroc art-architecture (which is not as superb and breathtaking as the mexican barroc style: churrigueresco; or the churches you can find in Peru or in Colombia).
But Iglesia de San Francisco is my very favorite church and I´m very proud of it.
It was declared "National Monument" because on October 14th, 1813, Simon Bolivar recieved the title of "General Captain of the Army of Venezuela" and was named: "El Libertador" (The Liberator). This took place in San Francisco, which is a couples of block from Bolivar's house.
If you want to know a little about venezuelan history you should go to Simon Bolivar´s house, it´s located in downtown Caracas, and there you can find the original house where the liberator of Venezuela was born. It´s a very nice place to go because you can see how the people used to live back in the 1800´s
A stroll through old caracas
The city's historical center about an hour's time you will be able to cover the 10 block area.
Original plaza de armas is the birth place of caracas 400 hundred years ago.start here to go to the CATHEDRAL OF CARACAS,CITY HALL AND THE CONGRESS building.Also there you will see the equestrian statue of bolivar himself.On the same street you can visit EL MUSEO BOLIVAR,A pink-hued building that has everything from documents,rifles to swords. Museum is open tuesday-friday 9-noon,2-6,closed saturday and monday.
ONE OF THE UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IS CARACAS BY CABLE CAR
One of the best sites in the world is to glide into caracas from the 7,000 foot MOUNT AVILA PEAK CABLE CAR AT NIGHT.