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A Day in Merida

By: Cityseeker
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Universidad de Los Andes (ULA)

This school has its origins in the house of studies created in 1785 by Fray Juan Ramos de Lora and was upgraded to Universidad Pontificia in 1810. It was secularized in 1832 and received its present name in 1883. The student population numbers 37,000 today. There are ten departments, two campuses in the states of Tachira and Trujillo, and extensions in the cities of Guanare, San Juan de los Morros and Barinas. It offers fifteen sports disciplines, supports thirteen cultural groups, besides having research institutes, centers and laboratories. The ULA has been throughout its history, and still is today, Merida's heartbeat.

Avenida 16 De Septiembre Edificio Louis, Merida, Venezuela, 5101
Catedral Metropolitana de Merida

The design of this beautiful cathedral was inspired by the Toledo Cathedral in Spain. The building was begun in 1805 but then underwent mishap after mishap, such as the earthquakes of 1812 and 1894, the War of Independence, and successive internal political struggles. In the end, the devout people of Merida had to wait until 1958 before work were completed. In 1960 it was consecrated to the Immaculate Conception, and in 1991 declared a Minor Basilica. In addition to the impressive architecture, the murals, Canon's choir, and the image of the Virgin of the Apple carved in stone are all well worth your attention.

Avenida 4, Plaza Bolivar, Merida, Venezuela, 5101
Galería La Otra Banda

This is a touring gallery, although it does have its own installations offering permanent exhibitions. Being an institution that depends on the Dirección de Cultura de la Universidad de Los Andes (Cultural Department of the University of the Andes), the exhibitions have a strong promotional and didactic quality.The gallery's main objective is to promote young talents who do not have easy access to commercial art galleries: however, another aim is to take these works and those by other recognised artists, into communities where people do not normally attend/experience such events.

Admission is free.

Calle 24, con Avenida 5, Edificio INAVI, Merida, Venezuela, 5101
Biblioteca Bolivariana

Vastly different from the surrounding colonial constructions, this four-story building, constructed using a modern design, was inaugurated in 1983 as part of the Bicentennial Celebrations of 'The Liberator's' birthday. You will find a valuable historical record of Simon Bolr, including documents relating to his march across the Andes in 1813. The premises also functions as a museum and exhibition space, and houses the Instituto Municipal de la Cultura (Municipal Cultural Centre); the Sociedad Bolivariana (Bolr Society); and the National Cinema Festival as well. Admission varies by exhibit - no credit cards accepted.

Avenida 4, con calles 19 y 20, Merida, Venezuela, 5101
Plaza de Las Heroinas Meridenas

This large, beautiful square is loved by both parents and children alike as a place to enjoy safe and sound outdoor games. You will also find it is a favorite spot for musicians, artists and poets, thanks to its beautiful gardens and pleasant walkways. Within the great inner circle there is a fountain and monument. These are dedicated to the five women who courageously took part in Bolivar's "Remarkable Campaign", which took him and his adherents up and across the Andes in 1813. Admission is free.

Streets 24th and 25th, Merida, Venezuela, 5101
El Teleferico

One of the greatest tourist attraction in Merida and Venezuela, this is the longest (12.5 kilometres) and highest (reaching 4765 meters above sea level) cable car in the world. This extraordinary achievement of engineering was constructed between 1957 and 1960. Its 90-minute trip starts at the Barinitas Station (at 1625 meters of altitude)finally arriving at the Pico Espejo Station, 4765 meters above sea level. Every station along the way has a restaurant and observatory. Each car has a capacity for 36 people.

Frente al Parque Las Heroinas, Merida, Venezuela, 5101
Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada is the largest among the four regional national parks, comprising nearly 276446 hectares (683,113 acres) of exquisite natural protected environment. The total area of the park is divided between the states of Merida and Barinas. Holding great ecological significance, the park houses the Cordilleran massif of Venezuelan Andes. The highest peak of Venezuela, the snowcapped Pico Bolivar soars at an elevation of 4,978 meters (16,332.02 feet) and characterizes the natural features of the park. Teeming with rivers and undulating streams, the park houses an enviable number of aquamarine lagoons such as the Mucubaji, Verde and Coromoto. Several species have found their homes among the diverse flora of the park. Feral cattle, Andean leopards, Puma, White Tailed Quetzals and Magpies are among the many mammal and bird species that can be spotted here. The Merida Cable Car, the highest and second longest in the world, is the best way to access the park and experience aerial views of the Sierra Nevada's lush beauty.

Cordillera de Mérida, Mérida, Venezuela
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