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Medellin

Medellin’s Parque Berrio

posted by Adriaan Alsema

Parque Berrio

A yard south of Plaza Botero and directly in front of the metro stop, downtown Medellin’s Parque Berrio is always packed with street vendors, musicians, preachers and crowds of paisa commuters.

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Inaugurated in 1646, Parque Berrio is located in the heart of the Candelaria, traditionally the city’s center and surrounded by the homes of Medellin’s rich and famous.

However, over the past century the area has morphed into a financial center with the mansions being replaced by modern banking and trading venues.

With the colonial church of the Candelaria — the only original building on the square, a statue of 19th century hero Pedro Justo Berrio, a fountain and elegant pigeon houses, Parque Berrio has some evidence of its history but it is clearly the heart of the modern commercial district, especially with the enormous and pompous metro station almost leaning over the park.

The charm of the park is not the architecture but the people. If you take the time to sit and drink a coffee on the stairs of the metro stop or on the side of the park you will be watching hundreds and hundreds of people passing, from well-dressed bankers to scantily dressed coffee vendors and farmers.

Because tens of thousands of people pass through Parque Berrio’s metro station, an almost equal amount of vendors are selling an almost equal amount of goodies.

The question is not what can you buy at Parque Berrio, but what can’t you buy. There’s fruits, juices, ice cream, shoes, belts, shoelaces, inflated swimming pools, movies, wristwatches, porno, a remote control for your TV, whatever you need.

While this park is definitely a great place to experience the energy and flavor of Medellin and its people, it is not a safe area at night and you should always be aware of pickpockets.

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