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Medellín, a Gardelian cult city

Being the last place where Carlos Gardel lived, Medellin today is a city that enriches its musical legacy by paying homage of all kind.


Medellín, “La Ciudad de la Eterna Primavera”; the Colombian pearl guarded by the mountains; the flower vendors lining the streets; the city of Fernando Botero and his Boteros; the “bandeja paisa” place. Medellín, the city of the subway, trolly and metrocable. The city full of friendly faces and enticing accents. Medellín, of Manrique, adopted city of Carlos Gardel.

After the tragic airplane accident that led to the death of Gardel in Medellin, the Colombian city has transformed into an authentic gardelian cult. The reverence and homage paid to him posthumously has taken all forms. In fact, the same citizens have declared their respect towards the singer, almost an unspoken rule that shows in the city’s culture and morals.

But, as if not to believe it, getting to the capital Antioqueña there is an avenue, a subway stop, a museum, a statue, and dozens of mural all paying homage to the artist.

But the neighborhood of Manrique is the true epicenter of offerings and love to Gardel. In an attempt to escape time, the neighborhood, seems to have lifted a window up to divide it into different times that the society was in. Rock, pop, Reggetone, all seem absent, reviving the feeling and sounds of those glorious tangos from the 20’s and 30’s.

There, on the Avenue Carlos Gardel, on the statue that holds his namesake, hundreds of tangueros from around the world congregate every year to receive the “Festival Internacional de Tango de Medellín” at the traditional Tangovía.

To the sounds of the bandoneon, the streets are closed and the dancers begin their milonga. The flirtatious invitation to dance tango, a subtle head nod, and at that height. Manrique is an authentic “arrabalero” neighborhood.

Friends from Colombia,we would like to know more about tango “cafetero”. We invite you to share photos/videos of places, events and people tanguero around your country. We want to hear your recommendations for milongas, academies, dancers, professors, and other marvelous tangueros.


© images credits: eafit.edu.co

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