Central Bank Museums

Bajos de la Plaza de la Cultura. Avenida Central. Calle 5 San José Centro San José CR 10104, Av. Central, San José, Costa Rica

Considered a landmark of Costa Rican architecture, this 1982 underground structure was cleverly designed by architects Edgar Vargas, Jorge Bertheau, and Jorge Borbón to house several museums without blocking an open view of the Teatro Nacional. The building’s main exhibition space, the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum—one of Latin America’s leading archaeological collections—displays 3,567 artifacts in gold, ceramic, and stone, alongside extensive information about the belief systems behind the pieces. Elsewhere in the complex you’ll find the National Numismatic Museum, which presents the history of the nation’s coins, banknotes, and other legal tender, including the private notes once used as currency on coffee plantations. The museums are all operated by Costa Rica’s central bank, which commissioned the building.

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