Spain and Colombia, united by the Augustinian Recollects

The Augustinian Recollects signed an agreement for the transfer of the convent of the cloister of San Nicolas de Tolentino, where the new Cultural Center of Spain in Bogota will be located.

The relationship between Spain and Colombia has taken a step forward thanks to the Order of Augustinian Recollects. The Province of Our Lady of Candelaria signed this Wednesday, February 1, the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Candelaria, an agreement with the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID) for the transfer of the cloister of San Nicolas de Tolentino, in the convent of the Augustinian Recollects in the town of La Candelaria (Bogota, Colombia). The historic building, after the rehabilitation of the heritage, will be the site of the future Cultural Center of Spain in Bogota.

The director of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Antón Leis, and the Prior Provincial of the Province of Our Lady of La Candelaria, Friar José David Niño, signed the agreement document in the cloister of San Nicolás of the same convent, accompanied by the mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López; the Colombian Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Laura Gil; and the Spanish Ambassador to Colombia, Joaquín de Aristegui. AECID is committed to restore and rehabilitate the two cloisters of the former Augustinian College of St. Nicholas. After the restoration, it will open cultural, educational and social outreach spaces, taking charge of their conservation during this time.

The place, which has a centuries-old history, was declared a monument of cultural interest in 1975. It is located in the historic center of the capital, in an area where there are several of the main cultural centers of the city, several universities, emblematic monuments, several ministries, as well as the presidential palace of Nariño.

The Augustinian Recollect religious built a first hospice on this land in the mid-seventeenth century but it was not until 1686 when they began the construction of the present convent, annexed to the Temple of Our Lady of Candelaria. The building was expropriated centuries later and used as an armory, although it was returned. For several decades, the convent was a school until its designation as an asset of cultural interest. Now, its history will grow by housing an important cultural space for the history of Colombia and Spain.