Plaza de Bolívar

The heart of La Candelaria is the Plaza de Bolívar, awhirl with street vendors, llamas and pigeons (which you can buy corn to feed) and surrounded by monumental buildings spanning more than four centuries, many covered with political graffiti. In the evenings, street-food carts appear.
The 1846 **statue of Simón Bolívar** in the middle of the square is by the Neoclassical Italian sculptor Pietro Tenerani, best known for sculpting papal busts in the Vatican. It’s the city’s oldest outdoor sculpture, and is particularly popular with the pigeons. The French-style 1907 Palacio Liévano on the square’s west side houses the mayor’s offices. On the south side, where the Spanish viceroy’s palace once stood, the Capitolio Nacional, with its imposing, colonnaded stone facade, is the seat of Colombia’s legislature; designed by the Caribbean-born Danish architect Thomas Reed, its first stone was laid in 1848 (you can see it on the bottom right-hand corner of the supporting wall) but thanks to assorted political upheavals, the building wasn’t actually finished until 1926. In the southeast corner of the square, the unassuming Casa de los Comuneros is seventeenth century; the exact date of construction is unknown, but the Spanish-born chronicler Juan Flórez de Ocáriz was living in it by 167

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