Oruro Journals

Socavon

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Oruro by SeenThat

Sanctuary of El Socavon Photo, Oruro, Bolivia More Photos
Quote: If the traveler has time to see only one attraction in Bolivia, then the Socavon should be it: an extraordinary church, a mine turned into a museum, a museum of local sacred art, a monument to Bolivian miners and comprehensive views of Oruro.

Socavon

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "All in One"

Socavon Esplanade Photo, Oruro, Bolivia
Quote:
I commented in the past on the peculiarities of Bolivian Spanish. It is influenced by Aymara and Quechua in the highlands – Guarani in the lowlands – and it uses plenty of archaic Spanish terms. Moreover, Aymara and Quechua use a different time reference frame (the past is ahead of the speaker) which reflects on speech patterns. At the time of my visit, I assumed "socavon" was just a name of a place. All Bolivians I asked claimed that. The fact it can be found written with a "v" or a "b" supported the claim it had no specific meaning. Only later I checked out a dictionary and fo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2010

Sanctuary of El Socavon

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "On Our Lady and a Rooster Foot"

Socavon Esplanade Photo, Oruro, Bolivia
Quote:
The most prominent structure in the Socavon complex is the Santuario de la Virgen del Socavón, namely the Holy Church of the Socavon Virgin. Worshipping began here at the 16th century; this event happened roughly at the same time Copacabana became a pilgrimage site. This is not casual; every Bolivian department features such a sanctuary, often placed atop older worshipping locations. At colonial times, what became later Bolivia was divided in five departments, as compared to the modern nine; from these, the Socavon and Copacabana emerged as the main sanctuaries. An image – known as Sagra...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2010

Sanctuary of El Socavon

Oruro, Bolivia

Museo Sacro, Folklorico, Arqueologico y Minero Socavon

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Attraction | "The Ugly Uncle’s Underworld"

Museo Sacro, Folklorico, Arqueologico y Minero Socavon Photo, Oruro, Bolivia
Quote:
The transition is abrupt. One moment the traveler is within a beautiful temple and the next he is across a hole in the wall, walking down a steep staircase. The sun heats mercilessly the highlands, yet, upon entrance to the underworld, the temperature drops suddenly to supportable level providing a surprising anticlimax to this conceptual hell. This is the Museo Minero Socavon, the Socavon Mining Museum.Tio’s UnderworldInhabitants of the Bolivian Highlands – the Andean High Plateau – developed many mines along the years; gold and tin, silver and rarer metals. The most famous one is Cerro Rico in ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 8, 2010

Museo Sacro, Folklorico, Arqueologico y Minero Socavon
Adjacent to Santuario de la Virgen del Socavon
Oruro, Bolivia

Museo Sacro, Folklorico, Arqueologico y Minero Socavon

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Sacred Art, Devil Masks and Square Eyes"

Museo Sacro, Folklorico, Arqueologico y Minero Socavon Photo, Oruro, Bolivia
Quote:
I had the museum ticket in my hand and was trying to match its title to the signs on the wall. I had missed the entrance to the second museum, the one dedicated to sacred art. Returning to the shop nest to the church, I asked for guidance. It turned out the museum was on the second floor, just above the shop. Then the structure of the Socavon complex became clear. The church was at the street level, with the mine museum below it and the sacred art museum above. It made perfect sense, a major surprise in local standards. Smiling at the unexpected finding of local logic, I rushed upstairs.This museum was tiny, occupying a single and smallish room. Yet, this added to the charm; seldom so many...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 9, 2010

Museo Sacro, Folklorico, Arqueologico y Minero Socavon
Adjacent to Santuario de la Virgen del Socavon
Oruro, Bolivia

International Park Hotel Oruro

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Hotel | "Counter-intuitiveness"

International Park Hotel Oruro Photo, Oruro, Bolivia
Quote:
On Bolivian Hotels and Counter-intuitivenessI have commented in the past on the incredible complexity of the Bolivian hotel rating system. It doesn’t help the traveler the fact that many hostels ("hostals" in Spanish) advertise themselves as better rated "hotels." The way to solve this confusion is to check the definition at the municipal permit that must be hung near every reception desk.However, that’s not enough. A brand new hostel may be better than an old hotel. The bottom line is simple: ask looking for the room before paying for it, and check out that all appliances function properly. In Oruro, that is especially important regarding the hot water. During the winte...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 8, 2010

International Park Hotel Oruro
Bus Terminal
Oruro, Bolivia

About the Writer

SeenThat

SeenThat
Tel Aviv, Israel