The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira, Colombia

By Abi King | South America

May 20

A beautiful picture of the entrance to the Salt Cathedral Zipaquira

Over one hundred and eighty metres below the ground, in the cool shadows of Colombia, lies the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira.

Blue salt cross

Over 3000 people attend mass each Sunday at this subterranean Roman Catholic church. The lack of bishop, however, means that the use of the word cathedral is a creative, affectionate touch from the citizens of the surrounding region of Cundinamarca (or a cynical ploy to encourage tourists. But the milk of human kindness is fresh, cool and frothy today.)

Angel in Salt Cathedral

In a salty slice of symmetry to a labyrinth thousands of miles away in Poland, miners constructed makeshift chapels in which they could pray for safety before getting on to the work at hand. Over the time, the mines began to run dry while the stories of the salt sculptures spread.

Zipaquira salt cathedral in blue

Today, tourists visit the stations of the cross during the week, aided by ramps, lighting and various other adaptations to help the non-miners among us to navigate underground.

Photos in the Salt Cathedral

It’s a place of rough edges and raw beauty. Of quiet reflection and quite moving faith.

And it’s also a place to fall in love with through a camera.

Main Salt Cathedral Chamber

Enjoy the photos,

Abi (2)

Swirling blue cross in the salt cathedral

Disclosure: I travelled to Colombia as a guest of ProExport Colombia. I write about whatever I like over here, as ever, as always.

Angel in the rock

Angel in the rock


About the Author

Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more.

  • Great photos! Colombia has so much to offer and is overlooked by most travelers. I imagine your trip there was a beautiful adventure.

  • Darlene says:

    This is incredible. Just love it. Great pictures as always.

  • cvail says:

    Even if you are cathedral’ed out…I would venture this one is unique enough to be worthwhile. Love the colors.

  • This is crazy. I mean, it’s so different. I would never link a cathedral to led lights, for example. Cool pics!

  • rebecca says:

    woah! awesome pics!

  • Reminds me of the salt basilica near Krakow, Poland. Beautiful!

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