Enjoy a guided visit to the oldest museum in Colombia accompanied by a local professional guide. Learn the history that’s behind these walls.
What to Expect
The building was designed by the architect Thomas Reed on 1850 but its construction started October 1st 1874. It was inspired by the discipline systems proposed by Bentham in the early nineteenth century, according to which this type of spaces should be created in a way prisoners were isolated and cut off from each other, but always watched from a central tower.
The museum was actually founded on July 28th 1823 but it actually opened its doors to the public on July 4th 1824. Since then the museum has had different venues, from 1823 to 1845 it was the old Botanical House (which doesn’t exist anymore); from 1845 to 1913 it was located in the Aulas Building which is now the actual Colonial Art Museum; from 1913 to 1922 at the Rufino Cuervo Passage (which doesn’t exist anymore); then from 1922 to 1944 it was in the Banco Pedro A. Lopez which is now the actual headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Since 1948 it’s located in the facilities of the former Central Penitentiary of Cundinamarca, known as "Panopticon". It was named like this because the structure’s built in the form of a Greek cross and who ever stand in the center of the Panopticon has the complete view of all four wings and it was better to monitor the prisoners. This was the most important prison of the region for 72 years. In 1946 the prisoners were transferred to another prison and in 1948 it became the new venue for the museum. The opening for the new venue was on May 2nd 1948. Then in 1975 the government declared the building a National Monument.
Its collection is divided into 4 sections; art, history, archeology and ethnography. The museum hosts a collection of over 20,000 pieces including works of art and objects representing different national history periods. Permanent exhibitions present archeology and ethnography samples from artefacts found in this region dating 10,000 years BC, up to twentieth century indigenous and afro Colombian art and cultural heritage.
On this tour, you will be picked up at your hotel at 10:00am and you’ll be taken to the museum where you’ll meet your guide. He will give you a private and personalized guided visit of the museum and tell you amazing stories and facts about the past and present. After the tour is over you will have some time to go the souvenir shop where you can find some gifts for your loved ones back home.
- Expert guide in the language of your preference (Spanish, English)
- Private transport from your hotel to the museum
- Entrance fees