This massive stone-and-brick structure—built originally as a prison—houses Colombia’s first museum, founded in 1823. The imposing structure is now home to more than 20,000 objects that represent the Colombian experience, displayed in revolving exhibits that fill 17 permanent galleries where there were once only cells.
An excellent exhibit of aesthetically and archaeologically important pre-Colombian artifacts, tells the story of ancient Colombia. But it is the Spanish Colonial collection, featuring everyday objects and impressive works of art, which really dazzles. Oil paintings, beautifully constructed furniture, religious icons and other well-preserved pieces offer insight into a bygone era.
An immense art gallery features the most famous works of Colombian artists past and present, with an emphasis on the experimental and modern. An impressive Afro-Caribbean collection illuminates the culture of Colombia’s coasts. Special exhibitions, musical performances, videos, seminars and other events take place regularly.