To the north of the department, on the foothills of the Eastern mountain range and in the midst of majestic mountains, hills and valleys, imposing municipalities rise up that are glorious witnesses of one of the most important events in the Nation's republican history: the Great Convention of Ocaña The Belen Beach, magical space sheltered by the majestic Storages, always adorned with the beauty of its streets and mansions, of peaceful life and quiet walk. Ábrego with its fields in bloom, its haunted Piedras Negras and the immense valley bordered by hills and crags. La Hidalga Ocaña: a coat of history and legends, landscapes that seem to have been painted by the magic of a painter in love, a city of architectural values, streets and corners with a colonial air, temples and monuments, the mystical Sanctuary of Our Lady of Thanks from Torcoroma. Land where the hospitality of its people and the warmth of the climate invite you to stay and explore it with joy and a spirit of exploration.
THE MAJESTIC EXPEDITION
Ábrego, originally called La Cruz, was founded in 1765 on land donated by the sisters Ana Josefa and María Teresa Maldonado, who were later added to the lands of Gregorio Quintero, Aquilino Jácome, Miguel Navarro, Ramón Trillo, Manuel Gómez, Esteban Patricia , Francisco Peñaranda and Miguel Álvarez Castrillón.
The first forgers of Ábrego were: Antonio José del Rincón, owner of the El Algodonal farm in 1753; Lope Bernardo de Maris, owner of the Aratoque hacienda in 1774; María Quiroz del Barco, proprietor of the La Labranza farm in the late eighteenth century;
Isabel Bonilla, owner of Los Hatos de Oropoma (this farm was also called Caracica). Knowing as Las Cruces until you get to call it La Cruz singularly.
On the occasion of the issuance of Law 5 of 1920, which ordered the change of homonymous names in some Colombian municipalities, the assembly of Norte de Santander issued the ordinance Number 32 of April 11, 1930 by which gave the name of Ábrego, in honor of the heroin nortesantandereana sacrificed in 1813.
La Playa de Belén
LA PLAYA DE BELÉN
The only historical information on the foundation of San José de la Playa de Belén is found in the work of Justiniano J. Páez, "Historical News of the city and province of Ocaña", says the lawyer Guido Pérez Arévalo, in his book "La Playa de Belén ", from which the following story was taken:" In chapter XX, from the work of Justiniano J. Páez, it seems the reference of the Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Marta, Fray Bernabé Rojas, of the Dominican Order, to the current municipal territory.
"Año 1857. En su marcha de la Cruz hacia Aspasica, hallándose ese año en visita pastoral el señor obispo de Santa Marta, Fray Bernabé Rojas, quien se hospedó en el sitio de Patatoque en casa del señor Jesús Rueda. Juan Esteban Rueda y Tiburcio Álvarez, concedió licencia para edificar una capilla edificada a San José en el paraje de Llano Alto, en donde construyó la primera casa. En el mismo año, la señora María Claro de Sanguino - En una nota de pie de página, continúa el autor- construyó la antigua capilla en cuyo sostenimiento tuvo parte principal Juan Claro, se tornó en un bonito templo que pone de relieve la religiosidad del honrado vecindario, inteligentemente dirigido por los virtuosos párrocos Guillermo Gerardino y Alfredo Sánchez Fajardo. El presbítero Rafael Celedón erigió esta parroquia en diciembre de 1896, nombrado primer cura a Moisés Velentini (italiano)."Year 1857. On his march from the Cross to Aspasica, that year the bishop of Santa Marta, Friar Bernabé Rojas, who stayed at the site of Patatoque in the home of Jesús Rueda, was on a pastoral visit." Juan Esteban Rueda y Tiburcio Álvarez granted a license to build a chapel built in San José in the area of Llano Alto, where he built the first house, in the same year, Mrs. María Claro de Sanguino - In a footnote, the author continues- built the old chapel in whose support had the main part Juan Claro, became a beautiful temple that highlights the religiosity of the honest neighborhood, intelligently led by the virtuous parish priests Guillermo Gerardino and Alfredo Sánchez Fajardo.The presbyter Rafael Celedón erected this parish in December 1896, named first priest to Moisés Velentini (Italian)
The current territory of Norte de Santander was taken by the Spanish conquerors, after having defined the occupation of the center of the country, and as a result of the needs of communication with the outside world, says Jorge Meléndez Sánchez in his book "Vivir la Región".
The expedition directed to the definitive occupation, programmed in 1543 and realized in 1549, left Tunja looking for the definition of a commercial route, alternates to the Magdalena river, from the information offered by the surviving soldiers of several expeditions.
The conquistadores opted for the subjugation of the indigenous communities of the Cordillera, and since the founding of Pamplona, they initiated a stage of control and subjugation of the communities of the Colombian-Venezuelan Andes, stimulated by the gold discoveries, with the founding of cities and villas and, of course, from the distribution of parcels, they defined the occupation.
The area where Ocaña was founded was initially hit by the expedition of Ambrosio Alfinger. In 1548, Alonso Pérez Tolosa from Venezuela, also made some expeditions.