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Treasures from the Museo del Oro

The Museo del Oro in SantaFé de Bogotá, Colombia, offers a splendid presentation of more than 33,000 items of gold and emeralds and other precious materials crafted in pre-Hispanic times.

The Gold Museum, part of the Bank of the Republic of Colombia, preserves and protects this fabulous cultural legacy. The most important museum of its kind anywhere, Museo del Oro showcases the work of ancient peoples who believed gold is the materialization of the life-giving energy from Father Sun.

The Tumaco, Calima, Malagana, Cauca, San Agustín, Tierradentro, Nari6no, Quimbaya and Tolima cultures worked in the southwestern regions of what is now Colombia. The Sinú, Urabá, Tairona and Muisca cultures existed in the northern regions and were part of the legend of El Dorado, a cacique, or chieftain, whose body was covered in gold dust for the ceremony of throwing gold into Lake Guatavita as an offering to the gods. Don't miss the display of the tiny boat showing this ceremony.

The collection includes bracelets, earrings, necklaces, breast plates, masks, figurines and rings created from 500 D.C. until the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century and is displayed in a well-guarded fortress-like room on the top floor. Only twenty people are allowed in at a time.

Below are some photos, just a tiny sampling of what you'll see in the Museo del Oro. Click on the photo for a larger view.

breast plate
Breast Plate
emerald ring
Emerald Ring
mask
Mask
headpiece
Head Piece
figurines
Figurines
breast plate
Breast Plate
emeralds
Emeralds
conch
Conch Shell
nose pieces
Nose Pieces
mask
Mask
gold and emerald necklace
Gold and Emerald Necklace
man and duck necklace
Man and Duck Necklace
cats
Cats
bird
Bird
breast plate
Breast Plate
breast plate
Breast Plate

On the first floor, interpretive cultural displays include pottery, tools and every day items. The second floor has a model of the La Ciudad Perdida, the Lost City of the Taironas discovered in 1975. Also on display are two gold crosses, adorned with diamonds and emeralds, from the colonial period.

The Museo offers educational programs to students, videos, special tours and many archaeological programs and lectures. Audio tapes are available in Spanish, English, German, French and Italian. The museum store has brass replicas on sale.

Museo del Oro is located at
Street 16 No. 5-41 Parque de Santander
Santafé de Bogotá, 1
Colombia
342-1111 ext 5414 y 334-8748 Fax: (571)2847450
Hours are:

  • Tuesday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Festive Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Visitors must leave by 5:30 p.m.
  • Closed Mondays.
  • Free entrance on the last Sunday of every month 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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