Welcome to the National Museum of Costa Rica, located in the heart of the country's capital in San Jose. Museo Nacional de Costa Rica is located within Cuesta de Moras on Calle 17, within the old Bellavista Fortress. This historically important building is crenellated and ochre colored, the site of the original military barracks for San Jose. Outside you will see many bullet holes from the 1948 Civil War, making this building especially important historically and culturally. The building itself was built in 1917 and turned into a museum in 1950, the foundation for the museum established much before in 1887, at the Universidad de Santo Tomás. If you seem to get lost on your way to this national museum just remember that it is located right across from the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica, another locally important and historically rich San Jose spot.
Outside the museum you will see a beautiful glassed-in atrium which holds a wonderful butterfly garden. Inside you will get a quick survey of Costa Rican history, from period furniture and military equipment to artifacts from ancient and recent area digs. From the east you will find a courtyard with pre-Columbian artifacts and colonial period canyons, from there a chronological assortment of Costa Rican geological, colonial, archaeological, religious, and modern history. See pre-Columbian stone tables, metates, ceramics, and gold within the Sala de Oro, as well as 18th century furniture and a special exhibit on the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias. This is a truly educational and culturally authentic stop on your journey and your group is going to love the opportunity to learn all they can about this colorful country.