Museo del Oro – Bogota’s Fabulous Gold Museum
The first thing we did on arriving in Bogota was to visit the Museo del Oro – the world’s largest gold museum.
Only about 15% of its collection containing roughly 30,000 pieces is on display. And what a display it is. Even if you’re not normally a museum person this one is worth visiting. It’s likely to be one of the highlights of your stay in Bogota.
The fantastic workmanship – dating back to pre-Hispanic times – and the volume of gold pieces is astounding. The only other place I’ve been that rivals this for gold is the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul.
At the Museo del Oro there isn’t just gold to be seen. The pieces in stone, pottery and metal are equally captivating. It’s not only the pieces that are so remarkable; it’s the way they are presented. They provide a glimpse into the lives of the people from pre-Hispanic times.
The displays are first class and the lighting is sophisticated. Grab an audio guide so you get some understanding of the objects you’re seeing. And don’t miss the pitch black room on one of the upper floors. You start in the dark and over the course of many minutes the walls light up revealing gold pieces – and the cylinder in the center of the floor fills with gold objects.
The curators want to leave you with an unforgettable feeling about Bogota’s gold museum – and they accomplished that.
Gold breast plates
The flying fish
Looks like a yoga pose to me
Lighting brings this piece to life
The Muisca’s gold raft that represents the El Dorado ceremony
Gold objects are beautifully displayed
Display showing how images were worn on the body
Pottery mask with penetrating eyes
The jaguar-man statues of St. Augustine
Sacrificial victim tied to a high post and pierced with arrows until he bled to death. His blood was then offered up to the sun.
Reminds me of ‘The Thinker’
They were way ahead of us with regards to using nose rings
Looks like he’s got a mouthful of cocoa leaves
The final stop in the museum – and a cylinder in the floor filled with gold art objects
- The museum is open from Tuesday until Saturday from 9 am until 6 pm.
- On Sundays and public holidays it’s open from 10 am until 4 pm.
- It is closed on Mondays.
- The entry fee is 3,000 Colombia pesos (about $1.50) but on Sundays it’s free.
- Audio guides can be rented in English, French or Spanish.
- There is a restaurant and cafe on site.
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Have you been to Bogota’s gold museum? What’s the most memorable museum you’ve visited?
Other posts from the Colombia trip you might find interesting.
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