Our tour this morning begins at La Candelaria, the old historic center named after Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria. The district has retained much of its colonial atmosphere with cobblestone streets and centuries-old houses. Among the oldest educational establishments in the area is the Colegio Nacional de San Bartolomé founded by the Jesuits and operating continuously since 1604. We will visit Plaza Bolivar from where we will see the Corte Suprema de Justicia, the Catedral, the Alcaldia Mayor de Bogotá and the Capitolio. Our tour continues at the Botero Museum. Situated in a renovated colonial house, the museum was opened in 2000 after Fernando Botero, Colombia’s most famous artist, donated 208 works, 123 of his own and 85 by other international artists. After lunch we will visit the Gold Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold work, making it one of Colombia’s most historically important museums. The objects on display tell us about the social make up of the regional pre-Columbian cultures. Some of these were organized into rather strict caste systems. Some dignitaries were cast in gold as half-human, half-animals because they were viewed as descendants of gods, relating to powerful animals like jaguars. The museum’s masterpiece is probably the “Muisca raft” which is displayed in its own room towards the end of the exhibition. This incredible, golden sculpture portrays a chief, his priests and six oarsmen sailing in a raft. A group of peasants discovered this incredible object in a cave south of Bogotá in 1856 and it has been dated to between 1200-1500BCE.