Sights in Villa de Leyva

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Villa de Leyva-sights. Villa de Leyva is saturated with a cultural and historical heritage, and considered to be one of the finest colonial towns in Columbia. A town as incredible as Villa de Leyva holds many wonderful sights for the history and culture buff. For example, thanks to a generous grant from the Columbian government, local private charities were able to build numerous Casa Museo, or “house museums”, to commemorate some of the villager’s extraordinary achievements. There also various archeological oddities that cannot be found anywhere else.

Casa Museo de Antonio Nariño

Casa Museo de Antonio Nariño honors the life and times of Antonio Nariño, the so-called forefather of Columbian independence. Antonio Nariño lived in this house until his death in 1823. The house itself was converted into a museum in the 1960’s and only costs $1.25 to enter. It houses his copy of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (which he translated) as well as various other colonial objects and memorabilia related to him.

Casa Museo de Antonio Ricaurte

Casa Museo de Antonio Ricaurte is another historical monument to another great person in Villa de Leyva’s history. Antonio Ricaurte bravely fought in and won the battle of San Mateo (near Caracas in Venezuela) in 1814. He was able to win the fight by allowing the surrounding armory to enter an enclosed area, where hit lit some gunpowder kegs, killing everyone in the area and himself. The museum was also the house where he was born in 1786. The admission is only $0.80 and includes a guided tour of the various weapons and documents found around the house.

El Fósil

El Fósil is a reasonably complete skeletal fossil of a Kronosaurus, a pre-historic reptile that looks like an over-sized crocodile. The fossil is seven meters long (the animal is twelve meters long but the tail has disintegrated), and it is only a baby! To get to this fossil, you have to take a taxi to Chiquinquirá, which is about six kilometers west of Villa de Leyva. While the admission to see this fossil is only a dollar, the cab fare to and from the location will set you back about twenty dollars. This fossil is one of the last known examples of the Kronosaurus in the world and over 150 million years old.

April 26, 2010 new by mbailin

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