Come be dazzled by the Gold Museum
In the heart of Bogotá, the extraordinary Gold Museum will astound you with the largest collection of prehispanic goldwork in the whole world.
It's such a special place that, in 2018, National Geographic magazine named it one of the best museums in the history of the planet, next to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum (Poland), the Vatican museums (Italy), and the Pergamon Museum, amount others.
The museum has 34,000 gold pieces, each of which has its own incomparable beauty and historic value. Many of these items were used in the daily life or sacred rituals of indigenous peoples like the muisca and tayrona.
Among the museum's many gold pieces, you'll find the iconic poporo quimbaya, a vessel used by indigenous cultures to store lime for their ritualistic chewing of coca leaves.
Thanks to its balanced proportions and the advanced techniques used to make it, the poporo quimbaya has become famous and is now an important part of Colombian cultural identity.
Another absolutely stunning piece is the Muisca Raft, which portrays the ritual that brought about the famous legend of El Dorado.
Legend says that there was once a place in the South American continent where everything was made of gold. Many 16th-century Europeans, obsessed with the legend of El Dorado, traveled great distances searching for its hidden treasures.
Of course, they never did find it. However, they did find many indigenous chieftains adorned with nose rings, breastplates, and other metal accessories.
They also heard rumors about a chieftain so rich that he used gold powder to adorn himself in place of baubles. It was said that he shone like the sun.
This legendary, gold-coated chieftain who sailed a raft to the center of a lake, was the one from Gautavita. And that, it seems, was the El Dorado sought for so desperately by explorers, and so masterfully represented in the Muisca Raft gold figure that you can view in the Gold Museum.
The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm, and on Sundays from 10am to 4pm. Touring the whole museum will take about four hours. Remember that all of the exhibits are in English and Spanish, and that you can rent an audio tour that will help you delve deeper into the remarkable histories of these indigenous groups.
Visit the Gold Museum—don't miss out on your opportunity to learn about these stunningly brilliant pieces of Colombian history.