The most impressive permanent gold collection in the Zona Cafetera is found at the northern edge of Armenia on the way to Salento and Pereira. This museum is the primary reason travelers pass through the city. It is housed in a fantastic brick structure, surrounded by green courtyards and complete with a kidâ€™s library and lecture hall, cafeteria, temporary exhibition hall, and two rooms holding Quimbaya gold and pottery.
The first room begins with the history of the Quimbaya, the indigenous people who occupied the mid-Cauca region (the departments of Caldas, Risaralda and QuindĂo) long before the Spanish conquered this area in the early 16th century. The gold on display is a fascinating collection of body ornaments, musical instruments, tools and objects used to check coca leaves. The pottery is mostly comprised of human figures and pumpkin-shaped urns and pots. Animal, female and pumpkin shapes dominate the gold and clay objects because they represent life, reproduction and fertilityâ€”three important Quimbaya values. The pinkish glow of the gold
comes from a mixture of gold and copper alloy; gold symbolizes males and copper symbolizes females. The second room details the importance of ceremonies and the conservation of tradition after the Spanish conquest.
To date, there have been two significant discoveries of Quimbaya gold. The first, called the â€śQuimbaya Treasure,â€ť was a collection of over 200 golden objects and numerous pieces of pottery. The entire collection was regrettably given to Spain as a gift and is now on display in the Museo de AmĂ©rica in Madrid. A second group of objects was uncovered in the Antioquia region and is on display in a traveling exhibition through the Banco de la RepĂşblica. Check its website (URL: www.banrep.gov.co) to find its current location.
Av. BolĂvar, 40N-80
Take any bus to Circasia and get off at the rotary with the black steam train in the center.
Travel Tips: Both rooms have English guidebooks that you can carry with you.
Relative price: Free
Open Hours from:Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.
Open Hours to:Tuesday-Saturday 5 p.m.
Days Closed:Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Mondays and public holidays.
E-mail: museoquimbaya(at) banrep.org