The Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) just outside the old centre of Bogota is a place you should not skip when walking thorough town. Gold for many civilizations is a precious metal and used in different ways. The pre hispanic societies in Colombia had highly sophisticated works of gold & silver smithing that was offered to the gods. When the Spanish conquerers arrived gold was needed to sustain the empire. Not many people know it but El Dorado was a myth with its origins in Colombia, more exactly it is said that its origins are in the Lake of sophisticated not far from Bogota. The lake was attempted to be drained the early days of the Spanish conquest to reach the gold object thought to be at the bottom of it. Still this myth is alive and people think that there might be pre hispanic treasures of the bottom of the lake
The value of gold has made that many pre hispanic gold and silver objects got lost, in this way also loosing part of pre hispanic culture. While also many ceramic and stone objects were shipped out of the country at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries by collectors and investigators
Since 1920 it is prohibited to export archeological from the country. But still it has proven to be difficult to protect the pre hispanic heritage from looters when farmers encountered these extra ordinary pieces of the pre hispanic period. Since the the forties of the 20th century pre-hispanic ceramics and stone objects have been added to the collection of the Gold Museum and the Museum has the largest collection of pre hispanic objects in the world.
The Gold Museum is housed in a modernistic building built in 1968 designed by the Colombian architects Esguerra, Saénz, Suárez, Samper and Cia for the Banco de la Republica.