Vargas Swamp Lancers Memorial – Sogamoso, Colombia - Atlas Obscura

Vargas Swamp Lancers Memorial

Sogamoso, Colombia

Largest monument in Colombia depicts 14 lancers who drove back an army. 


Created by artist Rodrigo Arenas Betancur, the Vargas Swamp Lancers Memorial is an impressively grandiose depiction of a frozen moment in time during an unlikely and successful skirmish during the Colombian War of Independence.

The Vargas Swamp Battle was a conflict near Paipa in 1819, led by Simón Bolívar, who was attempting to push back Spanish forces to protect a poorly guarded vantage point. Despite exhausted troops and trekking through swampy terrain, the Patriot forces were able to overcome the Royalist army, a cavalry attack by only 14 Venezuelan Lancers being the final push needed for victory.

The 108 ft. tall bronze monument is a memorial to the battle, and depicts the 14 brave soldiers on horseback, armed with nothing but their lances, boldly charging toward their mighty foe. It’s located in the Boyacá Department of Colombia.

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About 150 miles northeast of Bogota in central Andes highlands

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