Bogota Famous Museums, Part 1 (Self Guided), Bogota

Bogota is clearly not just about museums, as there is loads to see that is rich in Colombian history and culture. Worth visiting are the Gold and Emerald Museums, to get a look at the country's treasuries, to browse through its history at the Museum of the 20th of July and Museum of the 19th Century. You will be somewhat taken aback at the Police History Museum, where you can see highly captivating and even disturbing facts about the recent past of Colombia. Take a tour to see them all!
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Bogota Famous Museums, Part 1 Map

Guide Name: Bogota Famous Museums, Part 1
Guide Location: Colombia » Bogota (See other walking tours in Bogota)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 Km or 2.1 Miles
Author: ChristineT
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Casa Museo Francisco José de Caldas
  • Museo del Siglo XIX
  • Museo Historico de la Policía Nacional
  • La Casa Museo del 20 de Julio
  • Museo Postal
  • Fundación Museo de la Esmeralda
  • Museo del Oro
Casa Museo Francisco José de Caldas

1) Casa Museo Francisco José de Caldas

The house-museum of Francisco José de Caldas is located in a historic home, built in 1775, in traditional colonial style. Caldas, who inhabited this very house since 1806, used to be one of the greatest scientists, naturalists and geographers of Colombia. The museum opened its doors in 1985. It has two floors, a courtyard and several rooms, covering a study room, hall of sciences, conference room and Caldas personal room. The museum displays personal objects, letters, books, cartographic objects, writings and all his belongings. You will also find pieces of scientific and historic interest, among which are highlights of his famous Expedition, plans and mapping of different geographical locations in Colombia and engineering instruments made up of glasses, hypsometer metal detectors, and most importantly – theodolites. The museum is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 AM from 4 PM, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 3 PM.
Museo del Siglo XIX

2) Museo del Siglo XIX (must see)

The XIX Century Museum is located in the historic neighbourhood of La Candelaria. It was founded in 1980 and has a collection of over 2500 pieces including sculptures, drawings, paintings and engravings from the 19th century, as well as other historic objects and decorative arts that allow visitors to get an idea of the popular lifestyle at the time. There are several rooms that house permanent exhibitions, such as the Chamber of Fashion, where you can admire female costumes of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Postal Card Room, the Botica de los Pobres, which reproduces an old pharmacy, the Hall of Portraits, the Red and the Green Rooms and the Room of Miniatures, with pieces of ivory, wood and metal. There is also the French and Art Nouveau Glass Room, where you can see a nice collection of art nouveau vases, as well as the Room of Landscapes, with significant time period city landscapes among them. The most entertaining is the Caricature Hall, with works of Ricardo Rendon.

operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm; Saturday,Sunday: 10:00 am - 3:30 pm.
Museo Historico de la Policía Nacional

3) Museo Historico de la Policía Nacional (must see)

Museum of Police History is located just west of Plaza de Bolivar, in a historic, three-storey building of 1923. The museum features a colourful diorama, explaining the police's history in Colombia, through its various stages: from pre-Columbian times, through the Conquest, the Colony and the current Republican period. Also on display are police uniforms from 100 different countries, a comprehensive collection of old weapons - long, medium and short range. Other important rooms document the history of the Drug Traffic in Colombia, recalling the country's infamous times of violence and bloodshed. There are also photographs, uniforms and accessories of different departments of the Colombia National Police, such as narcotics and kidnapping, that pay tribute to all its heroes. One section of the museum is entirely dedicated to Pablo Escobar, the most elusive cocaine trafficker and the richest and most successful criminal in world history, finally killed by Colombian authorities in 1993.

Operation hours: Daily: 7 am- 6 pm.
La Casa Museo del 20 de Julio

4) La Casa Museo del 20 de Julio (must see)

The house museum of the 20th of July is where the Independence Treaty was signed in 1810. The house is called "Casa del Florero de Llorente" (House with the Vase), where the infamous little vase was the subject of a dispute between Spaniard José González Llorente and Colombians Antonio and Francisco Morales, which oddly led to the War of Independence. In 1960, the little colonial house opened as a museum exposing documents, paintings and personal items of historic figures that took part in the fight for Colombia's independence. Displayed in the main room are the base of Llorente Vase and objects related to the independence of Colombia. In the Hall of Records you can find the document of the independence of Colombia, the table on which it was signed and a collection of the national constitution. In the other rooms there is national military clothing, oil portraits of historic personalities and various objects and furniture pertaining to the colonial and Republican life of the country.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm; Weekend: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Museo Postal

5) Museo Postal

The Postal Museum was established in 1940 and is located in the Murillo Toro building, on the 2nd floor. Here you can observe the exhibitions of unique and even exotic postcards, stamp collection, both national and international, and all other elements and features that contribute to knowledge and dissemination of Colombian stamps and postal history. You can also learn about the very interesting postal system of Columbia, and of all Latin America, as they are related. The museum has an entertaining site to help visitors observe Columbian postal history and integration of international standards.
Fundación Museo de la Esmeralda

6) Fundación Museo de la Esmeralda (must see)

The Emerald Museum and Foundation is located in the Avianca building, on its 23rd floor. This unique treasure museum has more than 3,000 pieces as part of its collection. Some of the best emeralds from Chivor, Coscuez y Muzo Boyaca and Cundinamarca Gachalá mines are exposed in the 670 square meters occupied by the museum. At the entrance to this hall, visitors receive a white protection helmet, to enter a tunnel, where they can observe the activities of a miner in search of emeralds. After traveling 15 meters inside the tunnel, the participants move to a room where carved stones are found in their natural state of extraction. There is also a collection of jewels with emeralds, necklaces and pre-Columbian figurines. In addition, there are pieces of rock (formations of the green gem), where visitors will have the possibility of testing its quality and purity. According to the creators of the foundation, an emerald can cost between $4 to $10 million.

Operation hours: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Wednesday from 9 am.
Museo del Oro

7) Museo del Oro (must see)

The Gold Museum is a museum located in Bogotá. It displays an extraordinary selection of its pre-Hispanic gold work collection - the biggest in the world - in its exhibition rooms on the second and third floors. Together with other pottery, stone, shell, wood and textile archaeological objects, these items, made of what to indigenous cultures was a sacred metal, testify to the life and thought of different societies which inhabited what is now known as Colombia before contact was made with Europe.

In 1939 the Bank of the Republic began helping to protect the archaeological patrimony of Colombia. The object known as Poporo Quimbaya was the first one in a collection. The museum houses the famous Muisca's golden raft found in Pasca in 1969, that represents the El Dorado ceremony. The heir to the chieftaincy assumed power with a great offering to the gods. The museum has a collection of 55,000 pieces. 6,000 pieces are on display in their expanded building. On the second floor the exposition begins, the Main Room is called People and Gold in prehispanic Colombia. The exposition continues on the third floor, with The Flying Chamanic and The Offering. At the end of the exposition there's a Profunditation Room with artistic videos about the most important gold pieces of the museum.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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