La Mejor Feria de América
Between parades, floats, flowers and the joy of the streets of Manizale, an international fair is born that identifies Caldas culture.
The Manizales Fair began in January 1955 and had Oscar Hoyos Botero as its great manager who, observing the Seville Fair (Spain), wanted to hold a similar festival in the city. The leader of this first version was the Architect José Maria Gómez Mejía, who was accompanied in the preparation of the contest by his wife, Mariela López de Gómez.
The Manizales Fair has been suspended twice: in 1980 due to the disasters caused by the earthquake of November 29, 1979 and in 1986 due to the tragedy that occurred with the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz Volcano, which occurred on November 13, 1985.
As an integral part of the annual Manizales Fair, the Bullfighting Season was programmed from its origin, in 1955. The first consecrated in our Monumental Plaza de Toros (inaugurated in 1951) was the Spanish Cesar Girón, deserving of the replica of the Metropolitan Basilica Cathedral Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Manizales, established as a trophy in 1957, is Manuel Caballero. The Bullfighting Season reaches its 60th version.
The first version of the International Coffee Reign was held in 1957, the year in which its first sovereign, the Panamanian Analida Alfaro, was crowned. The first queen of the Fair was Miss Alicia Toro Vallejo.
Since 1958, the Institute of Culture and Tourism (formerly Fomento y Turismo) awards, through a jury, the Cordón de la Feria “Mario Vélez Escobar”. Individuals or entities that seek the Manizales Fair to gain National and International prestige and that the city occupies a privileged place in Colombia are deserving of this honorable award.
The pasodoble “Feria de Manizales”, with lyrics by the Ansermeño poet Guillermo González Ospina and music by the Spanish Maestro Juan Mari Asins, was created in 1957. By decree from 1978 it is the Hymn of the Fair with its popular “olé”.
CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE NATION
The Manizales City Fair, created in the likeness of the Spanish one in Seville and considered the oldest in America, was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation.
By means of Law 1025, the municipality of Manizales and its inhabitants were declared the "origin and managers of the bullfighting tradition in Colombia and in America", and their cultural and artistic expressions were recognized as an integral part of the Caldas cultural identity. This means that the specificity of popular traditional culture is recognized in the Fair, while protection is provided to its various expressions of tradition and culture.
In Manizales, the persistence of the rustic and popular model of architecture in bahareque and wood, allowed the survival of part of the city after the thirteen earthquakes that have struck it, but it was fatal at the time of the three fires: (1922 another in 1925) and finally a third one that completely destroys the old wooden cathedral; which today constitutes one of the most monumental buildings in the country. Manizales is currently ranked #17 of the 50 most advisable cities to visit in South America.
We find Plaza Bolívar, formerly Plaza de la Libertad; It is the main symbolic space of the city in the Center of the city.
The Government Palace was built between 1925 and 1927 on the ruins of the previous one, on one side of the Plaza de la Libertad, today Plaza de Bolívar. The elegant and beautiful building, decorated in the "republican way", the garden allows a spatial and visual relief of the whole.
This elegant Neoclassical building was built by the Italian architects Angello Papio and Gian Carlo Bonarda in the year 1927, a clearly classical decoration stands out, they represent Mercury and Minerva; progress and wealth.
Imposing monument of religious art, the largest in Latin America in reinforced concrete and one of the largest in the world of its kind. It was declared a National Monument on November 24, 1984.
The Archbishop's Palace: built with the purest Renaissance, given the dignity of the building, located today in Carrera 23.
Other places recognized as heritage of the City are: Palacio de Bellas Artes, Autónoma, Aerial Cable, Herveo Tower, Enea Chapel, La Inmaculada and Houses located at 23.