My grandparents always told me that plants had life and that our ancestors cared for and worshiped them because without them our existence would be in vain; my grandmother spoke to them and somehow they spoke to her too: my grandmother when she felt somewhat dejected, she would go, water them and, as if by magic, she would come back happy and radiant. And the same thing happened to me (and it happens): the trees in the park healed my soul, they gave me and still continue to give me life.
In 2012, when I began to frequent the park, there were still some vestiges of what was a Carousel (a mechanical amusement attraction with spinning horses) that the former president of Colombia Rafael Reyes imported from Paris at the beginning of the 20th century and installed in the highest part of the park. The Carousel, according to an old man who at that time also frequently walked the park, was the greatest attraction that the place had: children and parents lined up in endless lines to get on it and have the privilege of going round and round imagining -I think- they were some kind of knight, warrior or warrior of the Middle Ages.
In 2019, when I passed by there again, I saw that there was nothing left... the Carousel had been completely dismantled and in that place only the sounds of the laughter of hundreds of girls, boys and parents who could enjoy it remained. Where would the horses go? That question still runs through my head.
When I walked in the afternoons, I also saw the architectural space that is a little lower than the space of the carousel and that in one of my 20th century history classes a teacher mentioned to us with peculiar interest: El Quiosco Samper or Kiosco de la Luz, is an almost exact replica of the Belvedere (which translated into Spanish means Bella Vista) located in the Petit Trianon estate (in the Gardens of Versailles) and which he ordered to be built, in century XVIII, Marie Antoinette.
In the case of Bogota, the Samper Kiosk was donated by the Samper Brush brothers (who also had, since 1895, the laborious role of supplying energy to the entire city) to celebrate the centenary of the Independence of Colombia in 1910; its main use was to host the technological exhibition that celebrated Colombian independence on July 20, 1810.
The Kiosk became important because it also became an electric power plant for a time (that is why it is also called the Kiosk of light) and because its architecture
- which has always seemed unequaled to me - captivated the people of Bogota, and it is that of course: it has access to its interior through the four cardinal points and on its walls rest carvings of the different seasons of the year. Currently it works as a tourist information point and also as a meeting point and the beginning of several capital romances.
The Independence Park became my refuge and my way of learning more about the history of Bogota, it also became my favorite meeting point, the place from where I observed the Colpatria Tower at night, the ideal place to compose my heart and my soul and my lair to gain strength to go out to the rest of the city: the Independence Park gave me, since 2012, my best days, my best readings sitting in its pastures and, above all, it gave me the calm and patience that today I have impregnated in my person.
It is a good place to meet, walk, learn and, above all, to imagine.