About Museo Casa de Moneda
Museo Casa de Moneda (literally, Museum of the Mint) charts the history of money in Colombia. The museum is located in the historic La Candelaria district of Bogota, within the wider BanRepublic Cultural complex.
History of Museo Casa de Moneda
The building which now houses the museum was first established as a mint in 1621, and saw the first coins minted in South America. The museum was first opened in 1961 to display some of the extensive collection of the Banco de la Republica, and underwent major renovations (both to the fabric of the building and the layout) in 1985.
Today the building itself is a peaceful respite from the streets of La Candelaria, and the interior courtyard garden is a pleasant spot to sit.
Museo Casa de Moneda today
The museum charts the history of currency from pre-Colombian society to the present day. Exchanging goods has always been a part of society, and the exhibition begins with the exchange of pots for goods, before moving on to some of the earliest metal coins found in Colombia.
The exhibition also draws on interesting differences in the significance of gold for pre-Colombian and Spanish peoples, and the shift from predominantly using gold coins towards the ubiquitous paper money of today.
The first centralized bank in Colombia (Banco Nacional) was introduced in 1880, although it took three attempts to get a permanent bank established. The Banco de la Republica was formally established in 1923, and remains the country’s central bank today.
The museum contains some of the vast collection of peso notes and coins that have been produced, including different designs representing Colombia’s rich biodiverse environment, as well as the more traditional faces of celebrated national heroes, including the writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the revolutionary Simon Bolivar and the current president.
Interestingly, despite the building’s name, minting and printing of money was outsourced to New York for a several years in the late 19th century.
Getting to Museo Casa de la Moneda
The museum is located on Calle 11, in the historic La Candelaria district of Bogota. It is easily accessible on foot from other major sites. The nearest TransMilenio station is Museo del Oro, which is a short walk away.