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Bogotá, Colombia

The Bogatá skyline
The Bogatá skyline

The flag of Bogotá
The flag of Bogotá
Bogotá
, officially named Bogotá D.C. (D.C. for "Capital District"), is the capital of Colombia, as well as the largest and most populous city in the country with a population of roughly 7.8 million people (about 8.5 million in the metropolitan area); since October 29th, 1971, Bogotá has been Miami’s Sister City.

Bogotá is located at an altitude of 2640 m (8660 ft) above sea level on the Cordillera Oriental of the Northern Andean Mountains. The city is situated at the base of two mountains, Guadalupe and Monserrate. On the summits of these mountains, which are over 3200 m (10,500 ft) high, stand two small churches which are widely visited by tourists and locals. The population of Bogotá is currently increasing at a rate close to 5% per year, mostly due to people coming from rural areas of Colombia. The city is constantly expanding in size to meet this influx of people. Currently
History

The European settlement of Bogotá was founded in August 6, 1538, by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and was named "Santa Fé de Bacatá" after his birthplace Santa Fé and the local name. "Bacatá" had become the modern "Bogotá" by the time it was made the capital of the viceroyalty of New Granada, and the city soon became one of the centers of Spanish colonial power and civilization in South America.

In 1810-11 its citizens revolted against Spanish rule and set up a government of their own, but had to contend with Spanish military loyalists, who controlled the city until 1819, when Simón Bolívar captured the city after his victory at Boyacá. Bogotá was then made the capital of Gran Colombia, a federation combining the territories of modern Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. When that republic was dissolved into its constituent parts, Bogotá remained the capital of New Granada, which later became the Republic of Colombia.

In 1956, the municipality of Bogotá was joined to other neighboring municipalities forming a "Special District." With the Constitution of 1991, Bogotá was confirmed as the Capital of Colombia acquiring the name "Santa Fe de Bogotá", and changing the category from Special District to "Capital District." In August 2000 the capital's name was officially changed back from "Santa Fé de Bogotá" to the more usual "Bogotá".
Economy
The Coat of Arms of Bogotá
The Coat of Arms
of Bogotá


Bogotá is Colombia's largest economic center, followed by Medellín, Cali, and Bucaramanga—residents refer to it as Colombia's "first city". Most companies in Colombia have their headquarters in Bogotá, as it is home to most foreign companies doing business in Colombia as well as Colombia's main stock market. After mining, the three largest sectors of Colombia and Bogotá's economy are the export of coffee, emeralds, and flowers.

One of the largest drivers of the Colombian economy, Colombian coffee is prized for being some of the world's finest. Colombia is the world's largest producer of smooth coffee and the second overall coffee exporter. Although it is not grown in Bogotá, the offices of most coffee producing and exporting firms reside in Bogotá.

The emerald trade is a huge business in Bogotá. In downtown Bogotá, millions of dollars in domestically produced rough and cut emeralds are bought and sold daily.

Colombia is also one of the world's largest flower exporters. As a matter of fact, as much as 55% of all flowers sold in the United States are imported from Colombia.

Colombia is the 3rd largest trading partner for the South Florida Customs District (6th for all of Florida), bilateral trade totaled $3.5 billion in 2004, representing an 8.4% percent increase from 2003. This figure accounts for $1.8 billion exports and $1.7 billion in imports. Communication and data processing machinery are South Florida’s top exports to Colombia while gold and flowers are the top imports.

 
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