Every time we travel to a new place, we try to learn about its history and its culture. One of the best ways of really understanding the value of a place is by visiting its main cultural centers or museums, as they help us to appreciate the heritage by acknowledging its past and its influence in the present life.
In Colombia, apart from what you may already know, there is something that we hold as a treasure and it is the reason behind our diversity.
We are talking about the Gold Museum: one of the emblems of the cultural heritage and memory of all Colombians. A place that preserves the legacy of the indigenous communities that inhabited our country before Spaniards arrived, between 500 to 2.500 years ago. And, of top of that, one of the most important collections of pre-Hispanic metallurgy in the world.
The other six permanent exhibition halls are the regional Gold Museums in Santa Marta, Cartagena, Armenia, Cali, Pasto and the Ethnographic Museum in Leticia.
It offers Colombians and foreigners six permanent halls with exhibits on the pre-Hispanic cultures that developed the art of goldsmithing in the different regions. All regional museums offer free admission.
In addition, there are some other things you need to know about these museums:
- The Gold Museum belongs to the Cultural Submanagement of the Banco de la República de Colombia. Its mission is to preserve and make known its archaeological collections of goldsmiths, ceramics and other materials that are part of the Colombian cultural heritage. As well as strengthening of the cultural identity through enjoyment, learning and inspiration.
- Both, the headquarter in Bogotá and the regional museums, are homages to the pre-Hispanic culture and the indigenous communities that inhabited the region before the Spaniards arrival.
- Behind the curatorship and the pieces of the museums you will discover hidden keys to understand the way of life of these people, their customs, worldview, religiosity, the hierarchies that governed them, the cultural exchanges between them, their goldsmithing techniques, their mythology and their symbology.
- The museum’s exhibit nearly 60.000 pieces made of pottery, ceramics, wood, stone and textiles. The size of this collection turns it into one of the most important pre-Hispanic museums in the world.
- Besides the permanent exhibition halls, there are temporary exhibition halls and a variety of cultural activities and services for different audiences.
So, as we do not want you to miss the Gold Museums when traveling around the country, here we have the main information you need to know about each of them.
- Museo del Oro Zenú: In Cartagena, this museum gathers the most representative objects of some of the indigenous communities that belonged to the Zenú Culture. Visit it in our Cartagena City Tour.
- Museo del Oro Tairona: Right in the center of Santa Marta, there is Casa de la Aduana (The Customs House), where you can explore the cultural heritage of the communities of this region, including Santa Marta’s Sierra Nevada. Visit it in our Santa Marta City Tour.
- Museo del Oro Calima: You can find this museum in Cali. Its collection show the ethnographic objects that belonged to the societies that inhabited the region known archaeologically as the Calima Region.
- Museo del Oro Quimbaya: Located in Armenia. You will find an archaeological collection through a contemporary museography that is constantly including the results of recent research.
- Museo del Oro Nariño: In the southwest of Colombia you will find this collection that rescues the legacy of the indigenous cultures of Nariño region and the Pacific Coast, known as Tumaco.
- The museum network of Banco de la República also has the Ethnographic Museum located in Leticia, Amazonas. This place shows the cultural wealth of this region as the result of the encounter of diverse indigenous and mestizo ethnic groups from Colombia, Brazil and Peru.
We hope that by visiting these places you understand and learn more about Colombian origins, but please, do not forget checking availability and opening times before going as some of them are undergoing renovations and restorations.