On July 20th, Colombia celebrates its declaration of independence. So, we want to share a bit of history with you about the events that happened that day, back in 1810. You may not believe it but everything started with a vase!
By that time, the people of Nueva Granada (now Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador and part of Brazil) were very unhappy with the Spanish regime. Groups of Colombian patriots were conformed to fight against the Spaniards; these groups were called “Criollos”. These groups were slowly growing, getting stronger and obtaining the support from more Criollos and noble sympathizers like a certain Don Antionio Villavicencio.
For the 20th of July, a market day in Bogota, the Criollos were planning to ask Joaquin Gonzalez Llorente, a well-known Spanish merchant, to borrow a vase to decorate a table for a celebration in honour of Don Antonio Villavicencio. They were certain Llorente will refuse to lend the vase and his refusal would be the perfect excuse to provoke a riot and force the Spanish Viceroy to hand over the power to the Criollos.
Everything happened as planned in the morning of the 20th and the independence process began. The people in Bogota took the streets to protest against Spanish arrogance, while the leaders of the Criollos went to negotiate a peaceful solution with the Viceroy Amar y Borbón to permit the creation of a local council. This was just the starting point of a series of events that eventually led Colombia to become an independent republic in 1819.
It took us around 9 years to become an independent country, it was a long journey for our Colombian patriots.
If you want to learn more about this particular event and you are in Bogota visit the museum “La Casa del Florero” located in the main square “Plaza de Bolivar”.
The Uncover Colombia Team