Interesting Attractions in The City of Medellín
The charming capital of Antioquia – Medellin, has something for everyone. Acclaimed international restaurants, a boisterous nightlife, sports, theatres, concerts, and much more. Medellín is a city that perfectly combines a large number of green areas with ancient architecture inherited from its Hispanic colonial past. It has modern infrastructure which has been developed with the strong impulse of urban commercial development in recent decades. But what are some points of interest you might not be familiar with? This article will highlight a few of the lesser-known attractions that Medellín has to offer, which expats or visitors can check out to complement their time in the city and see why it is such a unique and special destination.
EL MUSEO EL CASTILLO
A Place Full of Art, Culture and more
El Museo El Castillo was built in 1930 in the El Poblado area. It is a gothic-style building that evokes the medieval castles of Europe. Today it is one of the most important cultural centers of the city. It offers extensive french gardens and various exhibitions of porcelain and stained glass art, as well as antiques, paintings and sculptures. It also has a library, exhibition and concert halls, and is very popular with locals and tourists. It has a true charm that should not be missed when visiting Medellín.
Enjoy a Complete Tour at the El Museo El Castillo
The El Museo El Castillo offers a complete tour for visitors who want to know in detail about this spectacular attraction. The tour will allow you to get to know the castle from the inside and appreciate the detail of its construction. You’ll see the incredible wooden floors, classic pieces of art, and rooms that have been preserved exactly as they were originally used. These include the dining room, which has a sample of porcelain tableware and other utensils, and the library which is accessed through a spiral staircase. Beyond the original builts rooms, there is also a gift shop to buy snacks and souvenirs.
Next stop would be to visit the garden, which has a typical appearance of European castles. It has beautiful floral ornamentation and bronze fountains in its wide spaces. In addition, you can visit a very contemporary Japanese garden nearby, which has a forest and a patio of azaleas.
In the museum park, all the services are offered to enjoy a good picnic – with an all-inclusive package (drinks, food, tablecloth, dishes, snacks, and more). You must take into account that to reserve this service you should do it at least two days in advance, as it is in high demand.
El Museo El Castillo has a rental service for indoor and outdoor spaces where you can hold any type of event or meeting. Imagine your next event, or even your wedding, being held in a magical place full of glamor and distinction and medieval charm.
The interior areas have meeting rooms, dining rooms for dinners and banquets, as well as a multiple room for conferences and seminars and an art room for exhibitions.
Outdoors, there is a fantastic area surrounded by gardens and light sources with a splendid view of the Garden Pavilion. This has two covered areas known as the Terrace of Los Faroles and the Terrace of Las Luces – both ideal to protect your group from the sun or rain. The latter has a very pleasant panoramic view of the city.
Create Your Own Music and Have Fun Until You Can't at Explora
Among the most interesting exhibitions to visit is the Sala de Música. There, you can dance to your rhythm and record your own shadow. Additionally, you can direct the musicians of the Medellín Philharmonic Orchestra or play ancient instruments and put together a band with your family or friends. All these are some of the activities that are part of the experience of this wonderful place.
Discover Why The Aquarium has been Internationally Recognized
The aquarium is another favorite of visitors to Parque Explora. It has 14 freshwater and sea tanks, which makes it one of the largest aquariums in South América. It has obtained various international recognitions and awards, for hosting more than 400 live species of fish and other native organisms from all the rivers and seas of Colombia. The goal is to recreate the habitats of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean in one place. One fish tank, called: “Jungla Inundada” you can observe native ancestral species of fish such as Piracú, which can measure up to 3 meters long and more than 250 kilograms, and the dreaded: Pirañas, which is a carnivorous species native to the Amazon River basin and which have inspired Hollywood movies.
What else does El Parque Explora Offer?
*The Dining Room: The museum’s restaurant is 600m2, and is located in the middle of a garden and has modern furnishings. A wide variety of gastronomic options are offered for visitors.
*The Exploratory: This is a public experimentation workshop, where people and communities, inhabitants of Medellín, or other parts of the world meet to develop projects on various topics.
*Shop: Here you can buy souvenirs, t-shirts, hats, backpacks, thermos, and much more with designs from El Parque Explora.
El Parque Explora also teaches very interesting courses. Among them are the stop motion animation course, dinosaurs for children and adults, video mapping, and microscopic photography. Because of this, El Parque Explora is undoubtedly an ideal place to spend time as a family, where learning should be fun. Add these to your list of places to visit during your tour of Medellin.
LA PLAZA BOTERO
An Icon of Art and Culture in Medellín's Downtown
Inaugurated in the year 2000, this attraction is located in the open air in heart of the city, El Centro. The star attractions of Plaza Botero are the famous bronze statues that adorn the surroundings of the Museo de Antioquia. This is the only place in the world where renowned Colombian sculpture’s Fernando Botero’s works are displayed outdoors.
The 23 works that make up this collection are:
- Mujer con fruta
- Mujer con espejo
- Mujer sentada
- Hombre vestido
- Mujer vestida
- Rapto de Europa
- Hombre a caballo
- Mujer reclinada
- Hombre caminante
- Caballo con bridas
- Soldado romano
- Pájaro de la Paz
- Pájaro de la Paz 2
Botero's Phenomenon is Worldwide
Among the distinctions that the master Fernando Botero Angulo has received is the Orden Andrés Bello, awarded by the Government of Venezuela in 1976, and La Cruz de Boyacá, which was awarded by the Government of Colombia in 1977. He was also declared Person of the Year in Colombia in 2000. In 2007 he received, from the Government of Spain, El Gran Cordon de La Orden de Isabel La Católica, and simultaneously La Orden de San Carlos, granted by the Government of Colombia. Between 2005 and 2008 the maestro Fernando Botero Angulo sponsored the Fernando Botero Award, aimed at young artists under 35 years of age.
In homage to his immense body of work, on April 19, 2012, The Ministry of Culture of Colombia declared 479 works by master Botero as Assets of Cultural Interest of the Nation. In 2021 the Mayor’s Office of Medellin honors the artist declaring him as “Year Botero”.
Fernando Botero Angulo has been considered one of the most important artists in Latin América. In his works, he recreates events in the history of the country and traditional themes.
Because Botero is So Loved in Medellín
Botero is a renowned painter and sculptor, born in Medellín in 1932. El Maestro began in the world of the arts at the age of fifteen. Some consider him to be the most successful living painter of all time. His works have been exhibited in such emblematic places as The Champs Elysees in Paris, The Forte Belvedere in Florence, the Monte Carlo Gardens, and more than 25 cities in the world.
A Dream - An Ideal and An Incredible Artist
Botero always had the illusion of exhibiting his works in his native land. It should be noted that since 1983 his sculptures have traveled the world. Therefore, the artist could not leave his beloved region behind. In the year 2000, El Museo de Antioquia received an extremely valuable donation from the artist himself, which totalled 114 paintings. Watercolors, oils, and drawings, 21 by international artists from the master’s private collection and 23 sculptures that remain in Plaza Botero to this day.
A trip to this part of El Centro is an adventure in and of itself, even without the statues. You can buy food or merchandise at the lowest prices in the city. If you get hungry, you can choose a typical Colombian dish at nearby restaurants and even at street food stalls. You can just sit on a bench to rest and watch the constant movement of people. It is even very common that you see acts of magicians, musical presentations, or performances of street artists all competing for a few of your monedas.
One Botero Statue with a Tragic History
Not far from Plaza Botero is another El Centro park that has Botero statues on display. One of the statues is quite damaged. In 1995, a terrorist group blew up the work of art, killing 30 civilians, including children. Botero stated that the remains of the statue should stay there as a monument and tribute to the deceased. But he also built a new statue next to it to symbolize the recovery of the city in the face of this tragedy.
When visiting the Plaza Botero, it is geographically very convenient to visit El Museo de Antioquia as well, which is located in the same Plaza. There are multiple exhibition rooms of pre-hispanic, republican, and contemporary art, for a complete cultural immersion.
To take a museum tour, it is recommended to start on the third floor of the Museum of Antioquia and then finish at Plaza Botero. You will be able to admire more than 100 works by Botero, as well as learning about the biographical data of the artist and his travels around the world looking for inspiration. Additionally, you’ll learn of the personal tragedies that have marked his life, such as the death of his third son Pedro at 4 years of age in a traffic accident that the artist had in Spain in 1974.
Another option is to access the guided tour offered daily by El Museo de Antioquia. wherein the guides give attendees brief talks about the history of the Museum, its construction, the collections they house and more.