I’ve been in Colombia for a few months now and to be honest it’s a bit embarrassing how little cultural activities I’ve participated in. So the other day I decided to go and check out Colombia’s largest and oldest museum, the Colombian National Museum in Bogotá. Located in the center of the city, the National Museum of Colombia was originally built as a prison in 1823 and served its purpose until 1946. In 1948 it was adapted for the National Museum of Colombia and finally restored and opened to the public in 1975.
The Colombian National Museum holds a decent collection of history, art and culture of the country, although I must say that for being the largest, I didn’t think there was much to see. Although limited, everything was nicely displayed and well-lit.
The coolest attraction of the Colombian National museum were the preserved Colombian mummies. For me, this was amazing because I had no idea Colombians mummified their dead, and not only did they mummify them, but they placed them in caves in the Andean mountains! Mummies+mountains=Awesome. You could also take a look at a mini replica of what the mummies looked like in their natural environment. I was totally blown away.
There were also Colombian artifacts showcasing the art and culture through time. And not to mention some unmistakable larger than life works of art from famous Fernando Botero. The Fernando Botero artwork was entertaining and colorful, though there mustn’t have been more than 10 paintings.
Overall, I say it was an hour and a half well spent. So if you haven’t gotten around to it and have the time and curiosity, go ahead and check it out, entrance is free. But if you only have 2-3 days and want to know what to do in Bogotá while you’re in town, I think you have better things to see.