The Bogotá Gold Museum is one of the most incredible visits that can be made in the capital of Colombia. There is no visitor who does not enter this museum and is not left speechless by the jewels, in the most literal sense of the term, that he keeps.
Its funds are made up of thousands of pieces carved in gold by various pre-Hispanic cultures. They are treasures in which the least important thing is their economic value, what makes them unique is their symbolic and religious value.
The Gold Museum of Bogotá, essential
Up to 60,000 valuable objects from pre-Hispanic times are preserved here, and more than half are pieces of jewelry made of gold. It is a unique and rich collection like few others in the world.
The museum assembly that has been created is up to the value and attractive aesthetics of these pieces. Everything together, what is exhibited and how it is exhibited, makes the Bogotá Gold Museum considered one of the best museums in all of South America.
To get to know the great cultural legacy of the Incas, you have to visit the sacred city of Machu Picchu. Or to discover all the charm of the Mayan civilization you have to visit the ruins of Tikal. As well, To marvel at the pre-Hispanic splendor of the cultures of Colombia, you have to tour the halls of the Bogotá Gold Museum.
The legend of El Dorado
When the Spanish undertook the colonization of South America, there were places that dazzled them for their extraordinary wealth. One of them was Colombia. There lived ethnic groups such as the Tairona, the Quimbaya or the groups of Muisca, San Agustín, Nariño, Zenú, Tierradentro or Tolima.
All of them wore abundantly and in a very natural way gold objects. For this reason, many thought that El Dorado was on Colombian land. The wealth in precious metals in the country was incomparable to what Europeans had ever seen. So they dedicated themselves to exploiting that mining wealth with a single economic desire.
However, the pre-Hispanic populations did not give this value to the material. They considered gold as tears of the sun and had a much more sacred than monetary meaning. The goldsmiths worked them with a more religious than economic feeling. And that is something that is very clear in the exhibition set-up at the Bogotá Gold Museum.
A museum owned by a bank
Surely it could not be otherwise, the Bogotá Gold Museum is owned by a bank. Specifically from the Bank of the Republic. This entity began to create it around the year 1939 with the acquisition of the first pieces.
Gradually, the collection grew with new purchases and recoveries of pieces that had left Colombia, sometimes fraudulently. The point is that in 20 years the collection had grown enormously and was opened to the public to leave them amazed.
And it kept growing, so much so that it was decided to build a building for the Bogotá Gold Museum. It is a marble building on a transparent glass ground floor, which simulates that it is floating over the Santander Park space where it is located, very close to the historic area of La Candelaria.
However, it must be said that the collection is so extensive that other gold museums have been created throughout the country. So, if you make a trip through Colombia, you can visit others in Cartagena de Indias, Santa Marta or Cali.
The Bogotá Gold Museum: a national treasure
The fact is that the Banco de la República has an incredible collection of gold pieces here, so the Bogotá Gold Museum has become one of the must-see sites in the Colombian capital. As much as, for example, it can be to follow the traces of the work of Fernando Botero in the country.
The fact is that the goldsmith’s pieces in this museum make it unique. In addition, here they have recovered in some way the sacred tone that they originally had. They have been stripped of their incalculable material value and we can contemplate them as artistic objects and, above all, as a manifestation of the lifestyles and beliefs of the pre-Hispanic peoples who are the origin of present-day Colombia.