Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, Costa Rica

San Jose downtown is known for many features, offering different options for its visitors. The museums and National Theatre make up some of the most important attractions in the area.

Right in the downtown within walking distance you can find three different museums; one of them is the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum exhibits an amazing collection of objects made in gold by the Pre-Columbian inhabitants of Costa Rica. This collection has a total of 1600 pieces that were worked from 500 AD to 1500 AD.

The exhibition presents the functions of the pieces and their respective uses as well as the fabrication and techniques to create them in conjunction with its reflection of their social organization and everyday life of the societies.

The museum is divided in two areas, the orientation area which is on the second level and the exhibition of the pieces in the third level. In the introductory section the visitors can get information about the evolution and development of these cultures including both social and cultural aspects, as well as the history of metallurgy with its styles and stages in the country.

The second section showcase the exhibition of the gold pieces giving the chance to its visitors to observe and admire all the extraordinary pieces, helping to put together the whole meaning  of the collection into the natural and world view of our ancestors.

The Pre-Columbian artisans worked with alluvial gold, obtained from the river silt and coastal shoreline sand, most of the objects that have been recovered come from the South Pacific area of Costa Rica, where the natural gold used to exist.

Some of the objects they made in gold were hooks, needles and symbols for personal adornments and to use them during their rituals. Many representations were based in fauna, like fish, jaguars, frogs and turtles, giving faith of the value they were given to the natural surroundings.

Hotel Ritzli located in the heart of the downtown can be a great start point for a visit to the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and the rest of cultural buildings in the area, being also a convenient hotel to stay at either the beginning or the end of your trip to Costa Rica.

By Maricel / Hotel Ritzli

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