Things to do in Maracaibo
Iglesia de Santa Barbara
chapel of Santa Barbara or Immaculate Conception Church is
steeped in history and controversy, beginning the year it was
constructed in 1583.
Among its parishioners, there have been generals,
Capuchin monks, bishops, the King of Spain and many popes.
Pope Benedict XIV appointed Fray Justo de Valencia the
director of the chapel in 1750, but a question of ownership
arose between the Brotherhood of Santa Barbara and the Arch
Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception and it wasn't
resolved until 1808; when it officially became the parish of
Santa Barbara and four years later declared the Patroness of the
Parish priest Jose Antonio Rincon and the governor of the
state of Zulia, Jose Antonio Serrano decided that a newer church
was needed in 1861, and the people of the city brought many
contributions to the church for its rebuilding.
When the work was completed in 1866, Joaquin Piria became
the parish priest.
Lia Bermudez Art
The art center is housed in a structure that was used as the
city's market center or mall for many years; with the first
market being destroyed by fire in 1927.
The many variations of building materials at the time
involved the use of iron, and that is what the government
decided to use. A
building was dismantled in England, transported and rebuild here
as the new market place building, and was finished in 1931.
It was study, fireproof and very durable; but fell behind
the times and in 1973, was closed and moved to another area.
Afterwards, it was decided that the building could be
used for a cultural center that would promote artistic and
cultural venues of the state of Zulia, where Maracaibo was.
It was closed in 1982, but the secretary of Culture, Lia
Bermudez, asked the government about the continued use of the
building since it was already remodeled and seemed in great
shape. It took a
long time for the government to make a decision, but in 1990,
the governor of the state, Oswaldo Alvarez Paz ordered the
building be used for the Maracaibo Center for the Arts- Lia
Bermudez and the old market was to become the headquarters.
Vereda del Lago
One of the most favorite parks in the city is the Vereda del
Lago, running parallel with the shoreline of Lake Maracaibo,
where off in the distance you can view the magnificent spectacle
of the Rafael Urdaneta Bridge, that spans almost 7 miles of
water across the lake.
It was opened in 2001 as the city's metropolitan park
with over a 100 acres of land, gardens, sports venues, the
Museum of Radio; a school of radio, computers and graphic
design; and a zoo where the animals are able to be touched by
the children that visit.
There is a football field, beach volleyball court and
tennis courts that have been considered as a venue for the Davis
Thought to be the biggest metro park in the country, over
400,000 people come here every month.
There are huts and other structures that allow for the
relief of the sun and heat, with 7 restrooms and three that have
Along the way, small kiosks have sprung up that sell
various snacks such as ice cream, empanadas, cheese cakes,
potatoes, hamburgers, yogurt, hot dogs, strawberries and cream,
Manduca, tumbarracnchos and other barbeque items.
A police station is housed in the park to make sure that
there are no problems or altercations with the large amounts of
crowds that come here; making sure of the safety of all
citizens. The city
tram comes here for pickups, plus there are smaller trams that
will take you around the park and many of the city's best
chi chuan lessons and classes are held in the park's area by the
ballpark and many military parades use the central walkways on
their special days.
The zoo is fast becoming the favorite area for children,
especially for those with disabilities or handicaps and help
their therapists with special treatments.
The pets that can be petted and held are rabbits,
chickens, ducks, tortoises, ostriches and an albino donkey.
Animal Planet has come here to do a special, as well as
National Geographic and other universities from across the
globe. One very
special venue is the nursery garden area where over 30,000
plants and flowers are grown for distribution around the park.
It has become a daily exercise course for runners,
joggers and walkers of all ages; with 7 great playgrounds for
the visitors children to enjoy.