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Pre-Columbian Art Museum Santiago

The Pre-columbian Art Museum in Santiago

Pre-columbian Art Museum Santiago

We know – and highly recommend – you will allocate a whole day or one morning of your holiday in Chile´s capital city, Santiago, to explore downtown area, or as many prefer to call it: Santiago Historical Centre. So, when you find yourself at Plaza de Armas whereabouts. Don’t think twice and pop straight into the Pre-Columbian Art Museum Santiago, there will be at least a couple of hours well spent thereafter. This visit will enrich you with valuable knowledge and information on cultures dating back more than 14,000 years. I bet you didn’t expect that!

Chile before Chile – The Permanent Exhibit

Chinchorro mummyWe absolutely love this title, which is the title for the permanent exhibit of the Pre-Columbian Art Museum Santiago. In the room where the exhibition Chile before Chile is displayed the artefacts portray  a glimpse of the life style  in Norte Grande (the extreme desert region), where the Chinchorro fishermen risked their lives in search of distant fertile waters away from the desert’s barren land, over 8000 years ago. Still, one of the most striking facts about the Chinchorro people, and that may not yet be known to many tourists, is that they mummified their dead long before the Egyptians. In the further south area, el Norte Chico, a region conquered by the Incas in the fifteenth century, the lifestyle highlight was what it was then understood as “the domestication of plants.” This is the area located in the valleys that connect the ocean to the mountain range, where vegetation was aplenty. As for the Central Region of the country, the cradle of the Anconcágua culture, for more than 9,000 years its inhabitants survived from hunting animals that long have been extinct from the plant. They also cultivated plants, but mainly differed from the others in their cultural habits; they made ceramic potterywares. It was in this regions where the first Spaniards began their invasion. Finally, down south, home of the Mapuche, 13,000 years ago the nomadic life gave space to sedentary life, when men and women began to dedicate themselves more and more to their plantations and crops. The Mapuches bravely resisted to the invasion of the Spaniards in their fields, this is a fact often brought up in Chile´s history, and to this day they are still known for their fight and resilience.

Rapa - nui antropomorfic imageRapa Nui Culture

The Pre-Columbian Art Museum Santiago also exposes some of the most striking features of the Rapa Nui culture: sculptures, particularly the wooden anthropomorphic statues that for a long time had profound meaning in the religious rituals of the Rapa Nui. The wooden sculptures on display at the Pre-Columbian Art Museum Santiago are very similar to those exhibited at the Fonk Museum in Viña del Mar and symbolize a belief centred on a spiritual, cosmic vision that developed and took root in the Rapa Nui culture for over millennium.

Important information about the Pre-Columbian Art Museum Santiago

  • The Nearest Metro Station to the Pre-Columbian Museum Santiago is Plaza de Armas (on the red line)
  • 2016’s Admission fee  – CLP 4,500
  • Admission is totally free on the first Sunday of each month
  • Opening Hours: from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:30.
  • Guided tours – There is no extra charge for this kind of visit but you need to make a reservation to take part in the group via the email: reservas@museoprecolombino.cl
  • The museum closes on the following dates: January 1, March 25, May 1, June 5, September 18, October 23, and December 25.
  • The Pre-Columbian Art Museum Santiago has a beautiful, assorted souvenir shop as well as a cosy coffee-bar.

About Abigail Dantes