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The Costa Rica Gold Museum

The Central Bank of Costa Rica has museums that manage, preserve, investigate and report collections of archaeology, Visual Arts and Numismatic Costa Rica. This building offers a dynamic program of temporary exhibitions related to their collections and permanent exhibitions for visitors.

The Museum of pre-Columbian gold "Álvaro Vargas Echeverría" or known simply as the Gold Museum, is a historic, archaeological and cultural Museum located in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. This museum is located in an underground building under the Plaza de la Cultura; fifth street, between the Central and second Avenue. This building is the permanent headquarters of the collections belonging to the Costa Rica Central Bank, and is home to the Numismatics Museum, Jaime Solera Bennett. This museum has an extraordinary collection of gold objects that reflect the way of interpreting the world, the social structure and goldsmith of pre-Columbian peoples who occupied the current Costa Rican territory. The exhibition shows the use and function about the pieces, the technology, and the relationship with nature and the daily life of these groups. The pre-Columbian craftsmen worked native gold of alluvial origin, which was obtained from the sands of the river and the banks of the coasts, and washing in wooden troughs; then given the desired shape; the art of metal work required a particular skill, a long and complicated, learning specialists performing full time.

The museum collection consists of 1600 pre-Columbian gold pieces dating from the year 500 to 1500 AD; it also contains pre-Columbian objects made of ceramic and stone, from different geographical regions of the country as vessels in various shapes, objects, statues and tools in stone, these used in everyday and ceremonial life of the people. The Gold Museum of the Central Bank has one of the most important archaeological collections in Costa Rica. Its formation began in 1950 and lasted until 1980; this includes 3567 gold objects, ceramics and lithic. Additionally, there is a small collection of ethnographic objects that belonged to indigenous groups who have inhabited the country.

The archaeological evidence in Costa Rica indicates that the appearance of the first metal objects occurred around the year 300-500 A.D; and it reached its peak after 700 A.D. and even contact with the Spaniards. The majority of metal objects that have been recovered come from South Pacific, due to the existence of deposits of gold and copper in natural state in the region; also some in the Central Caribbean zone were found. The main area, located on the second level of the building is given to know the sociocultural evolution of pre-Columbian cultures and the development of metallurgy in Costa Rica, its stages and styles. In the main room, it delves into the uses of gold objects, the goldsmith techniques that were developed, their relationship with nature and the daily life of human groups.

The Gold Museum awaits you from Monday to Sunday from 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. The first Wednesday of every month opens its doors to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. On January 1; during the holy week, from Thursday to Sunday (the holy Wednesday the offices will remain open until noon), April, 11, may 1, July 25, August 2, August 15, September 15, October 12, the second Friday in December, and in December 24, 25, 30 and 31, the Museum will be closed.

The Costa Rica Gold Museum

Visit the pre-Columbian gold Museum and discover wonders of Costa Rican history...