Museo del Oro
Iglesia de San Ignacio
The Jesuits began this iconic church in 1610 and, although opened for worship in 1635, it was not completed until their expulsion in...
Iglesia de San Francisco
Built between 1557 and 1621, the Church of San Francisco, just west of the Museo del Oro, is Bogotá's oldest surviving church. Of...
Iglesia de la Veracruz
Iglesia de la Veracruz is known as the National Pantheon because many of the heroes of the struggle for independence have been buried...
Café de la Estacion
A unique address, this is an old train car converted into a tiny café in the middle of the city. Coffee and snacks available.
La Candelaria branch of this killer deli-sandwich kingdom.
Carrera 6 No 15-88 · interesting places nearby
Museo del Oro information
Bogotá's most famous museum and one of the most fascinating in all of South America, the Gold Museum contains more than 55,000 pieces of gold and other materials from all the major pre-Hispanic cultures in Colombia. It's all laid out in logical, thematic rooms over three floors – with descriptions in Spanish and English.
Second-floor exhibits break down findings by region, with descriptions of how pieces were used. There are lots of mixed animals in gold (eg jaguar/frog, man/eagle); and note how female figurines indicate how women of the Zenú in the pre-Columbian north surprisingly played important roles in worship.
The 3rd-floor 'Offering' room exhibits explain how gold was used in rituals. Displayed tunjos (gold offerings, usually figurines depicting a warrior) were thrown into the Laguna de Guatavita; the most famous one, actually found near the town of Pasca in 1969, is the unlabeled gold boat, called the Balsa Muisca. It's uncertain how old it is, as generally only gold pieces that include other materials can be carbon dated.
There's more to understanding the stories than the descriptions tell, so try taking a free one-hour tour Tuesday through Saturday (in Spanish and English; 11am and 4pm), which varies the part of the museum to be highlighted. Audio guides are available in Spanish, English and French.