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Villa de Leyva


Located away from major trade routes in a high altitude valley of semi-desert terrain, and with no mineral deposits nearby to exploit, the town has undergone little development in the last 400 years. As a consequence, it is one of the few towns in Colombia to have preserved much of its original colonial style and architecture: the streets and large central plaza are still paved with cobblestones, and many buildings date from the sixteenth century. This has resulted in Villa de Leyva becoming one of Colombia's principal tourist attractions, and it was declared a National Monument on December 17, 1954 to preserve its architecture.


Villa de Leyva draws numerous and delightful comparisons to the wonderful region of Andalucía, Spain.  The qualities are very similar with wooden doors and windows, white facades and Moorish balconies that will remind you of the Hispanic tradition of the town. Villa de Leyva was founded in 1572 and built in accordance with typical Spanish architectural standards. The location itself – within a valley – may have even brought an emotional equivalency in the New World to similar sites throughout Spain. The true character and beauty of Villa de Leyva lies within this valley.

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