The National Museum of Costa Rica (Museo Nacional) was founded on May 4th, 1887, at the time the President was Don Bernardo Soto and the Minister of Public Works Don Cleto González Víquez. This museum emerged in Costa Rica at a moment in which liberal ideas and principles of peace, progress and education material, characterized the society of 1880, where the laws related to education and the creation of cultural institutions prompted the birth of the museum. As an institution the museum belonged to the Development Ministry, to the University of Costa Rica and then again to the Education Ministry so that finally in the 1970s, became part of the Ministry of Culture and Youth.
The National Museum has occupied four different locations throughout its history. Three of these premises were demolished. Currently the museum is located next to the Plaza de la Democracia (Democracy Square) at the building of the Former Bellavista Barracks. This place is the product of a series of transformations of the house that built the German naturalist Alexander Von Frantzius in 1870 and in 1876 purchased the Costa Rican educator Don Mauro Fernández. The property was vacant from 1910 to 1914. In 1914 the government of Alfredo González Flores purchased it for the purpose of using it as barracks. In 1948 it stopped to serve as barracks, this is when the army was abolished as a permanent institution, and it became an education and cultural center, hosting since then The National Museum.
The National Museum is a cultural center for excellence. It’s walls protect the unalterable of the history of Costa Ricans, it not only teaches about the history of the nation, but also presents exhibitions of pre-Columbian art (pottery, stone, gold) and has a room with art from the colonial period, furniture and displays of natural history. Since its inception, the Museum promotes research projects in the areas of natural history, anthropology and Costa Rica’s history.
Address: on 17th street, between central and 2nd Avenues, in the Former Bellavista Barracks, district: Catedral, cantón: San José, province: San José, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 10104.
GPS Coordinates: 9.932725,-84.071 (9°55’57.81″N, 84°04’15.60″W)
Schedule: from Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone: + (506) 2257-1433