Colombia's "Eternal Spring", Medellín, is a colourful city, with works by Fernando Botero everywhere. However, the true colour of Medellín can be discovered in Comuna 13, the former "Cradle of Pablo Escobar", a neighbourhood that has now become a tourist attraction in the city and where you can delight in its countless examples of Urban Art, such as its Graffity murals.
Comuna 13 was the epicentre of drug violence during the worst years of the social conflict. A shantytown built on the slopes of the mountain, with small houses similar to the Brazilian favelas, steps, narrow streets and lookouts to control when the forces of law and order entered the commune.
After these hard years, thanks to the impulse of the Government with different programmes of social inclusion, and, above all, thanks to the community formed by its 12,000 neighbours, Comuna 13 has undergone an unprecedented transformation, being today a quiet and safe neighbourhood, touristy, that receives thousands of visitors every year, to discover its extensive sample of Urban Art, buy souvenirs in its shops or enjoy the good atmosphere that is breathed in its cafes and restaurants.
To get to Comuna 13 from the centre of Medellín you can use the metrocable, a funicular that connects the centre with the upper neighbourhoods. It is also possible to get there using the metro, for which you have to travel on line B, the orange one, and get off at the last stop, San Javier.
One of the distinctive architectural features of Comuna 13 are its free escalators, which replace the old 350 steps and have contributed significantly to the opening up of the commune and its transformation. You can use these escalators from the metro to get to Comuna 13.
Once in the neighbourhood you can walk through its streets, an explosion of colours thanks to the Urban Art created by the young resident artists, who have been graffitiing the walls of the poor houses in the neighbourhood and creating large murals and works of art.
Among the urban artists with works in Comuna 13 are @chota_13 and @yesgraff. Walking through the narrow streets of Comuna 13 discovering large murals and colourful spaces at every step, enjoying its atmosphere and safety, is one of the tourist experiences you can't miss if you travel to Medellín.
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