Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
History and museums
The Museo Nacional de Costa Rica is the national museum of Costa Rica, located in the capital of San José. It is located at Calle 17, between Central and Second Avenue, Cuesta de Moras, in the Bellavista Fortress, a crenallated, ochre colored building opposite the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica. The fortress was built in 1917 and was originally a military barracks: the exterior walls still have many bullets lodged in them from the country's 1948 civil war. It became the site of the museum in 1950.
The entrance on the east side leads to a courtyard displaying pre-Columbian artifacts and cannons from the colonial period. The museum is organized thematically in a counter clockwise direction from the entrance with artifacts related to Costa Rica's geological, colonial, archaeological, religious and modern history. The museum had a notable collection of pre-Columbian stone tables (metates), ceramics and a gold room "Sala de Oro" in the northeast tower. The colonial room has a notable collection of furniture and is designed to emulate that of an actual quarters in the 18th century. The museum also has an exhibit of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Óscar Arias, and a bust of José Figueres and butterfly garden in the outside "Plaza de la Democracia".