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Robert Schrader

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Inside Colombia's Incredible Salt Cathedral (PHOTOS)

Posted: 05/04/2012 7:00 am

Colombia is among the least-visited countries in South America, probably because of its questionable reputation as a dangerous country.

I won't attempt to further dispel that notion here -- I got caught in a chaotic May Day protest, complete with riot police and tear gas -- but I would like to draw your attention to one of Colombia's many hidden treasures: The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá.

Located approximately an hour north of Bogotá via bus, private car or tourist train, the Salt Cathedral is the centerpiece of a halite mine that has been active since the 5th century B.C.

Today, workers still excavate salt in the sections of the mountain above and below the Salt Cathedral, which sits over 500 feet below the ground. Although the Zipaquirá Salt Mine is one of countless salt mines in the world, the Salt Cathedral is one of only two, the other being in Poland.

Salt Chapel
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En route to the actual chapel, tourists come upon 14 "salt chapels," each of which represents a different station of the cross.
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