LA PIEDRA




LA PIEDRA
Located 70 kilometers from Medellín and with a large internal staircase that has 740 steps, Piedra del Peñol is the most visited site by Antioquenos. It offers tourists a beautiful view over the Guatapé dike, an ideal place for lovers of water sports. The dike, created by the public industry of Medellín, flooded part of the municipality, as well as some neighboring villages, forcing its inhabitants to change the base of their economy: agriculture, for a new one, fishing.
Origin of La Piedra of Peñol
According to geologists. The rock is approximately 65 million years old and with this, thousands of stories to tell about it. In the indigenous era it was a Deity, as attested by the archaeological evidence found around it.
It was also once a hindrance to agriculture; before la piedra was a tourist center, it was a place where it was cultivated and since the rock gave a lot of shade, this was not the most fertile site since the crops were slow to grow and this is why it was not useful for its former owner.
Theories about the origin of the Rock
FIRST: It is said that it could have been a meteorite, until a group of geologists made the studies about its components and discarded this theory, since these are given by the same earth, which are granite, quartz and feldspar.

SECOND: It is said that it was a volcanic eruption and when making contact with the air it became rock.

THIRD: It is perhaps the most successful, because in eastern Antioquia, we are on a tectonic plate called " batolito antioqueño " that covers an approximate area of 10,000 km2 between the municipalities it covers are: San Vicente Ferrer, El Peñol, Guatapé and San Carlos, this is why this theory, says that it was a clash of tectonic plates, which led to an outcrop of rocks, the most representative: the Peñol of Guatapé , as one of the largest in the world and the only one with scales.

There are also: El Peñonicito, located in the municipality of San Vicente Ferrer with a maximum height of 50 meters, La Piedra del Marial, located in the village El Marial of El Peñol and La Piedra del Tabor, located in the Municipality of San Carlos.

This monolith is one of the wonders of the world, created by God and embellished by the hand of man.
When the rock was climb?
El Peñon de Guatapé or Piedra del Peñol, was climbed for the first time on July 16, 1954, by Luis Eduardo Villegas López, Pedro Nel Ramírez and Ramón Díaz; This was done under the auspices of the Presbyter Alfonso Montoya Velásquez.

At this time people classified these men as suicidal, since they climbed the rock with ropes and guaduas, which they used to make the road easier, a very rudimentary and insecure way. It was then that after five days of tireless struggle, these brave climbers, managed to reach the top and hoisted the National Pavilion and at that time the history of La Piedra was divided into two parts: before and after.

BEFORE: The rock was considered a hindrance to those who owned it; In those days, they lived exclusively from agriculture and this rock gave a great shade to the surrounding land, which made that land was not productive for crops.

AFTER: At the time it was climbed the rock changed the story, because the news was extended throughout the region, which caused curiosity to most journalists and Antioquenos initially; at this time, the event was published in the newspapers and all this attracted visitors, journalists and foreigners.

Today, this monolith is considered one of the main tourist attractions of the region and the world, since the mere fact of looking at it, causes the curiosity to climb it and see from there the best of the landscapes, surrounded by the Peñol - Guatapé reservoir , considered the second largest extension in South America, which was built by the public industry of Medellín, a project completed in 1978, whose goal is the storage of water, for the generation of energy and has also been an attraction for visitors and tourists who enjoy good fishing and the different water sports that are practiced there.
Construction of the scales on The Rock
In the year 1955 began the construction of wooden ladders, a matter that was presenting obstacles; which did not interrupt the plans to make this monolith one of the most important centers of the region; In 1957, the 432 steps that the rock had initially completed were completed, it is said that the first people who went up were foreigners.

Over time they see the need for concrete steps, its construction began in 1965 and was completed in 1971; they added 740 steps by which, thousands of visitors have had the courage to climb; as is also clear, that many people just see the height, do not take the risk.

Currently, there are some stairs to ascend and others to descend, its purpose is to provide people with security and comfort.
The letters "GI" in the rock
In 1988, the letters that today can be seen in the back of La Piedra began, were written by means of an agreement that was celebrated by Mr. Luis Villegas and the Mayor of that time, Doctor Jaime Alfonso Giraldo Mejía; It was at that moment, when Don Luis gave the floor to the Lord Mayor, to write Guatapé on La Piedra. The preparation of these letters took approximately two months, were made by Don Luis Villegas and Don Antonio Quintero, are written with rubber base paint, have a useful life of approximately 30 years and each measures 30 meters high by 15 meters of width.

In 1944 El Peñol was founded and within its jurisdiction was La Piedra y Guatapé , for that reason, the habit that the Piedra is called "Piedra del Peñol"; Guatapé became independent as a municipality and ceased to be a district of El Peñol and since then, la piedra remained in the latter's lands.

It is valid to explain that for both Guatapé and El Peñol, Piedra is a cultural identity and that is why the Municipality of El Peñol argued that through Law 23 of 1973, natural tourist attractions are prohibited from being crossed out or painted, with which it managed that the agreement that Don Luis had agreed with the Municipality ofGuatapé was not carried out ; since then there are the letters GI, with which it was going to be written: GUATAPÉ.

* Texts taken from the book: "Piedra del Peñol or Peñón de Guatapé and its History"
Author: Leidy Julieth Giraldo Hincapié
Tourism Guide Certified by SENA
STORIES ABOUT THE ROCK
It has always been a concern to know about the history that covers this beautiful mass in the Municipality of Guatapé.

Mr. Luis Eduardo Villegas López, from a very young age, was curious about La Piedra and why is here today. One day with two more friends, Pedro Nel Ramírez and Ramón Díaz under the auspice of Father Alfonso Montoya Velásquez decided to climb this great mass, at that time it was a feat and from that day the history of the rock changed, to become one of the main tourist sites in the region

What was the name of La Piedra?
Which is his real name?

Whenever you hear about La Piedra you hear several names: some say "La Piedra del Peñol", others say "Peñón de Guatapé " and that is why the locals listen and correct the name of La Piedra because they want us to call it by its real name. To know the real name, it is necessary to know why this confusion arises, what was the reason because today we are not clear about the term "peñol" or "peñón".

Many years ago the towns of El Peñol and Guatapé were a single territory, later Guatapé separated from El Peñol and there was a controversy about who was La Piedra, the town of El Peñol said: "it's mine ...! and Guatapé said: "no, La Piedra is mine ..." and was thus a continuous discussion, finally, by means of a decree, they say La Piedra belongs to the jurisdiction of the town of Guatapé.

This controversy is over but the name does not end because many Antioquenos think: "Piedra del Peñol" because it is near the town of El Peñol, but really the name of La Piedra is "Peñón de Guatapé " since the word " Peñón "does not come from the name of the town but from the word" peña "that is equal to stone or rock. * Texts taken from the book: "Piedra del Peñol or Peñón de Guatapé and its History"

Author: Leidy Julieth Giraldo Hincapié
Tourism Guide Certified by SENA
LEGENDS ABOUT THE ROCK
There are several myths and legends about La Piedra del Peñol or Peñón de Guatapé, among which are: "El Hacha del Diablo". "The Hen of the Golden Eggs", "The Airport of the Witches" and "The Duende".

THE DEVIL'S AX
They say that the Devil never agreed that the rock was visited by so many people and wanted to knock it down with an ax and take it elsewhere, every night he went to work to fulfill his dismal wish, but he never knew that in the day, God was responsible for erasing the work he was doing and this is why La Piedra is still in place.

The Chicken of the Golden Eggs
As has always been known, Easter is the time to look for eggs, but, as everything has its mystery and it is said that "The Golden Eggs Chicken" can only be taken on Good Friday at midnight, there you have a minute and if at that time, you do not succeed, the chicken turns it into a golden egg.

The Witches Airport
The grandparents of the town tell us that every day after 9 o'clock at night, the witches can be seen reaching the top of La Piedra, they meet there and they fly over the whole area, when they are in the air, they they see flashes of light coming from their brooms, their laughter is extravagant and that is why the place has been called "The Airport of the Witches".

The Elf
Some people in the community say that one day, around 5:30 in the afternoon, a short gentleman arrived, wearing a hat, slacks and shirt, to climb La Piedra the man did not have the money to pay for it. pay the income, began to cry in front of the people in charge, so they let him go, on condition that he went down with the workers at the top; when the workers came down, they asked them about the old man and they said that no one had arrived there, it seemed strange to them: at eight o'clock in the evening, they went up by the sector of the curve (way to la Piedra) two boys and they felt that it fell something from above, was such a scare, that they ran through different roads and told other people, who out of curiosity went to look and something fell from there, like the others, ran and locked themselves in their houses, the other day they said that they had seen the Elf walking everywhere, shirtless and without shoes ... and since then, it is said that the Elf is looking for the gold that is in La Piedra.

* Texts taken from the book: "Piedra del Peñol or Peñón de Guatapé and its History"
Author: Leidy Julieth Giraldo Hincapié
Tourism Guide Certified by SENA