Travelers have a dream. Even if they don’t say it out loud, all of them would love to find the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. And before you plan the biggest journey of your life, Bogota can be a helpful point. The city has a spectacular Gold Museum, which features a dozen of pre-Hispanic societies and their golden tradition.
The museum was founded in 1939, while the latest renovation took place in 2008. 13 pre-Hispanic tribes (Chocó, Tumaco, Calima, San Agustín, and so on), which have populated the territory of present-day Columbia, are presented in the exhibitions. Overall, 34,000 gold pieces are scattered through the exhibits. Another 20,000 pieces of bone, ceramic, textile and other items complete the collection. The museum consists of four stores levels.
The Working of Metals – This part is located on the first floor. If you ever wondered how gold is mastered to create elegant and delicate jewelry, this is the place to ask all your questions. However, the exhibition tells about the work of metallurgists in the ancient period, when there was no technology, the standards of elegance were also different. This floor will show you how people decide the value of gold, how they developed new colors and textures, turning metallurgy into art, etc.
People and Gold in Pre-Historic Columbia – The use of gold is perceived very superficially in the modern society. We use gold for jewelry or watchmaking, some people like to have a golden shirt or a golden iPad. Traditions change, and they were certainly different during the pre-Hispanic period. The second store of the museum is to tell you about the relationship between those 13 tribes and gold, how they used this metal, and what significance was it given to. This stop focuses on the culture of those tribes rather than the actual gold mining and developing. Considering the overwhelming Hispanic influence on this continent, it can be refreshing to find out who inhabited these lands before the European conquests.
Cosmology and Symbolism – The minds of the tribes are openly revealed on the third floor. And the exhibition is not limited to rings and necklaces. There are nose ornaments, garments, knives, and other items used in daily lives of pre-Hispanic societies. The contrasts are especially vivid on this floor.
The Offering – The higher you climb, the closer you come to tribal gold usage. The fourth floor is entirely dedicated to the ceremonies and rituals, where gold was presented as an offering. This is the highest level of the significance gold could be granted.
There is also an Exploratorium, which is meant for children. This is where youngsters can give their feedback on all the gold and cultural information they have processed. A number of interactive activities are designed to keep the process fun and entertaining.
There is so much gold here, you could call the museum “modern-day El Dorado.” It may sound a bit ironic, but you have to pay money to see gold. For thousands of centuries this noble metal continues to haunt humans and attract them from miles, purchase a ticket, and see as much gold as your memory can carry.