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Colombian Culture: Museums

Colombia has more museums than any other country in Latin America. You will find many opportunities to intellectually and spiritually immerse yourself into the culture and geography of this region.


The more notable museums in Bogotá include the Museo Nacional de Colombia, one of the oldest and biggest museums in all of Latin America. This museum housed in a former prison was established in 1823. The imposing edifice, with arches and domes, and made of stone and brick, offers a 20,000-plus piece collection. What once were prison cells now showcase impressive accomplishments in archaeology, ethnography, history and art. The collection contains items from European, Afro-Colombian and indigenous cultures, from 10,000 BC to the present. Paintings on permanent display include works by such masters as Fernando Botero.


The most famous museum in the capital is the Museo del Oro of Colombia’s Banco de la República. Offering the largest and most impressive gold metallurgy collection of the pre-Columbian period—including a golden raft used in ceremonies—along with ancient stoneware, shell, wood and textile artifacts, Bogotá’s Gold Museum is one of the most memorable testaments to South America’s early civilizations.


Other noteworthy bogatano institutions are the Museo de Arte Colonial, Museo de Arte Moderno, Museo Iglesia de SantaClara, a former and breathtakingly beautiful monastery, and the modern, interactive Maloka Museum of Science.


Outside of Bogotá, noteworthy museums include the Museo de Antioquia in Medellín, the second oldest in the country and one of the most important. It serves as the virtual national house gallery for world-famous painter and sculptor Fernando Botero. Armenia’s Museo del Oro Quimbaya and Santa Marta’s Museo de Oro Tairona have impressive pre-Columbian gold collections. Cartagena offers Museo Naval del Caribe, a Museo de Arte Moderno, Museo de la Inquisición and the Museo San Pedro de Claver, annexed to the church and plaza where a 17th-century Spanish priest who advocated for the human rights of the local population had lived.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Colombia: Colombian Culture: Music, Shakira, Colombian Culture: Cinema, Colombian Culture: An Introduction, Colombian Culture: Literature, Colombian Culture: Art, Colombian Culture: Comedy, Cumbia, Colombian Culture: Dance and Colombian Culture: Theater.

27 Sep 2011

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