Costa Rica’s Museo del Oro
The Gold Museum, or what most people refer to as Museo del Oro, is actually a collection of interconnected museums called Museos Banco Central de Costa Rica. The Museo del Oro Precolombino (Pre-Columbian Gold, i.e. before Christopher Columbus), the Museo de Numismática (Numismatics – the study of coin and currency), and the Sala de Artes Visuales (Visual Arts, e.g. paintings, photographs, sculptures, carvings) are further divided into the present collections of arqueología, numismática, arquitectura, arte costarricense, and exhibiciones temporales (currently featuring La Metáfora de los Sonidos). Archeology, numismatics, architecture, Costa Rican art, and a temporary exhibition on The Metaphor of Sound are spread over three levels below the Plaza de la Cultura and Teatro Nacional. Although the Museo de Numismática is presently closed, and although you might be prohibited from taking this photograph or that, the Banco Central collective is still my favorite of all the museums in San José. Here’s a peek!
It’s dimly lit (all the archaeological exhibits here are), but there’s an interactive station where you can produce the music of an indigenous tribal band. Lift or lower your hands, turn your palms up, and recreate the sounds of rudimentary instruments complemented by the sounds of nature. Call me a kid, but I think this is pretty cool.