180 meters underground, in a Halite (rock salt) mountain near the town of Zipaquirá, in Cundinamarca, Colombia was built one of the most unusual Cathedrals, the Salt Cathedral.
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira is a Roman Catholic Church and was initially built around 1932, by the miners that worked in the salt mine. The miners that every day were putting their lives in danger, carved a sanctuary as a place for their daily prayers. Every day, before starting to work, they were visiting the sanctuary praying and asking for protection. Over the years, their small sanctuary developed to a vast temple, with three sections representing the birth, life and death of Jesus. In 1992, due to safety concerns, the temple closed.
You have to walk 1.5km underground to reach this chamber.
The main hall boasts the biggest underground cross in the world.
The present Salt Cathedral was built in 1995, below the first one and is both bigger and deeper than the first. The architectural and artistic design was the inspiration of Bogotan architect Roswell Garavito. 250 thousand tons of rock salt had to be extracted to form the underground cathedral. The Salt Cathedral (also known as the “jewel of modern architecture”) heralded as one of Colombia’s greatest architectural and engineering achievements and in 2007 was declared the First Wonder of Colombia. It is more than just a curiosity, though: it receives as many as 3,000 visitors on Sundays! It is both bigger and deeper than the first. The cathedral was inaugurated in 1995, and in 2007 it was declared the First Wonder of Colombia.
It actually cannot officially be called a cathedral, since it has no bishop.
In Memorial for the miners who worked in this salt mine, and those who perished.
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