Little Known Museums in Medellín Worth a Visit

Water Museum, photo courtesy of Museo del Agua

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Sonja Bricker.

Museums, I love them. Art, Science, History, Special Interest – it doesn’t matter, so long as I get inspired by something. I have been to many museums including the Louvre, all the Smithsonian museums, a Sex museum in Amsterdam and even one dedicated to Pinball, to name a few personal highlights.

Here in Medellín I visited the Antioquia Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MAMM) within my first week of moving here. I was so impressed by the MAMM that I became a one year member for 80,000 pesos ($27). This was an easy decision since I live a 15-minute walk away. Now I can go to independent films every weekend for 5,000 pesos ($1.75), attend lectures and simply drop by for a quick visit anytime.

However, I knew there had to be more museums to discover. Indeed, there are at least 22 museums within the city limits, many of them free. I am going to focus on three museums in this article.  Each of these I believe are definitely worth visiting: the Water Museum, the University of Antioquia Museum and the Pedro Nel Gomez House Museum.

The above photo of the Water Museum is courtesy of Museo del Agua.

Inside the Water Museum, photo courtesy of Museo del Agua

Inside the Water Museum, photo courtesy of Museo del Agua

Water Museum

The Water Museum (Museo de Agua) is administered by EPM (Medellin’s public utility company which operates in the water, sewer, electricity and gas sectors). It is a small museum that strives to give the visitor knowledge about water in its different states. There are 9 rooms, each with a different focus. The Water Museum is also a popular museum for children.

First of all, there is a very dramatic interactive video display that attempts to convey the origin of the universe, complete with explosions, surround sound and bright lights. This transitions to information about ancient civilizations and their innovative developments with water.

Inside the Water Museum, photo courtesy of Museo del Agua

Inside the Water Museum, photo courtesy of Museo del Agua

Then, there are detailed rooms recreating different Colombian ecosystems. These lead to rooms focusing on how to create sustainable cities, emerging innovations and the part EPM plays in keeping Medellin’s water safe and protected.

I found the Water Museum fascinating. Especially impressive is that all visitors are assigned their own personal tour guide (several guides are bilingual) to help explain and answer questions. This is included in the 6,000 peso ($2.10) entrance fee.

Inside the Water Museum, photo courtesy of Museo del Agua

Inside the Water Museum, photo courtesy of Museo del Agua

Located in Barefoot Park (Parque de Los Pies – worthy of a visit) and in front of the EPM building, the Water Museum can be reached via Metro (Alpujarra station), MetroPlus (Plaza Mayor stop) or using EnCicla bicycles (there is a station next to the museum).

Admission is 6,000 pesos. Or free if you are over 60 years old, under 5 years old, or living in Estrato 1, 2 or 3 and show your EPM bill. It is open 8:30am – 4pm, Tuesday – Friday and 10:30 – 5pm, weekends and holidays.

Address: Carrera 58 #42-125

Entrance to MUUA

Entrance to MUUA

University of Antioquia Museum (MUUA)

The University of Antioquia is one of Colombia’s oldest public universities, founded in 1803. And it has over 30,000 students. It is a gorgeous campus, full of gardens, fountains and imposing concrete buildings. Easily reached by Metro (University station), visitors can gain entry to the campus by simply showing a copy of their passport or a cedula.

First floor gallery at MUUA

First floor gallery at MUUA

The MUUA, as the museum is known, is located on the main square. Founded in 1942, it has an impressive collection of over 20,000 archaeological pieces on the Anthropology floor. The Natural Sciences floor contains 18,000 pieces including naturalized animals, skeletons, study skins, wet-preserved specimens, minerals, fossils, and scientific illustrations. In addition, there are two floors devoted to temporary art expositions.

Third floor gallery devoted to Anthropology at MUUA

Third floor gallery devoted to Anthropology at MUUA

I have visited the MUUA three times. Noteworthy are the rotating art shows, which are diverse in medium and theme. Plus, Jardín Botanical Gardens is across the street (free admission).

There is a gift shop, small auditorium and library. Furthermore, students are available to answer questions and provide insight on the exhibits.

Admission is free. Hours are 12 – 5pm, Tuesday – Saturday.

Address: Calle 67 # 53-108, Bloque 15

Pedro Nel Gomez House Museum, photo by Kamilodardona

Pedro Nel Gomez House Museum, photo by Kamilodardona

Pedro Nel Gomez House Museum

Finally, the last of the museums I’ll cover is probably one of the least visited, hidden away in the Aranjuez neighborhood (a 15-minute walk from the Botanical Garden).

This museum founded in 1975 was the family home of Pedro Nel Gomez, one of Colombia’s most important artists of the 20th century. His renown is due to his vast and varied body of work, which ranges from massive murals, oil and watercolor paintings, pastels, engravings, sculptures plus architectural and engineering projects.

Inside Pedro Nel Gomez House Museum, photo by Chuli Pichuli

Inside Pedro Nel Gomez House Museum, photo by Chuli Pichuli

The house itself still contains original furniture, family portraits, personal effects and expansive gardens. There are 160 square meters of murals and 2000 pieces of art on rotating display. In addition, the library contains 5000 documents and 2000 books. It is a staggering amount of work. And there is a very organic feel to the way it is laid out.

On the day of my two hour visit I saw no one else. Even the security guards were scarce, with room after room unattended.

Admission is free. Hours are Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm. Highly recommended.

Address: Carrera 51b # 85-24

Inside Pedro Nel Gomez House Museum, photo by Chuli Pichuli

Inside Pedro Nel Gomez House Museum, photo by Chuli Pichuli

About Sonja

Sonja is from Whidbey Island, WA. She has traveled to 46 countries but never wanted to settle down in any of them until she discovered Medellin. She is currently living here in Medellín temporarily until she figures out how to be a permanent resident.

Like the story? Take a second to support Medellin Living on Patreon!
About Guest Blogger

This article was written by a guest contributor or partner. Please see the bottom of the post for additional information.

Comments

  1. Nice article, Sonja! Welcome back.

    I just saw Trainspotting 2 recently at the Museum of Modern Art. That’s a really nice movie theater they’ve got. Thanks for recommending it in your previous article on local movie theaters.

    I’m generally not a big museum person, but recently happened to come across one I liked a lot. It’s the Insect Museum (El Museo Entomológico) in Parque Piedras Blancas, which is located in Santa Elena. Had a relaxing stay at a spa right by the museum, connected by a well-maintained nature trail. The insect museum has some cool displays, including some with live insects building their nests, etc. The curator was also very friendly and helpful. Highly recommended!

    • Sonja Bricker says:

      Thanks for the compliment Alan. It feels good to be back in Medellin. And I will be sure to check out the Insect Museum the next time I’m in Santa Elena.

  2. Special note: the water museum gets busy on saturdays, and reserving in advance is suggested, especially if groups. I was lucky and another group showed up late and we got their slot.

    Pedro del Gomez museum is nice and calm. There were kids learning how to dance in a big open space of the museum and doing art work in another area. There are graffiti pieces(my style of art) near the front entrance, and cool ones near the back entrance on a retaining wall. I went two times, once when closed so we just got the grafitti art in front and back , and stuff a block or two down the hill. We were on a bike your using the city path’s until jardin botanico, then after taking the path above the gardens, we took the road a few more minutes to the museum. Also down the hill is more artwork on a wall at the Moravia community center.

    MAMM – this Friday will be free entrance after 6(last Friday of the month) and a movie on the big wall outside in the park(starts at 7 I think).

    Museum of Antioquia has a small book library about a block away from the main museum.

    El Castillo – cool castle museum with a sad but interesting story. Located in South poblado, it used to be 10,000 entrance fee and tours are on the hour. Spanish moss from trees, picnics on the lawn, etc. They guard your bags during the tour.

    • BTW, nice article. Thanks for posting the hours, it is not easy to find such info easily at times.

      We are a long way from Whidbey Island 🙂
      Born and raised in the region, I used to visit Whidbey when my uncle was stationed there.

      • Sonja Bricker says:

        Shane,
        Thank you for adding all those extra details. I really enjoyed all the grafitti pieces around Pedro Nel Gomez as well, plus the walk between the Botanical Gardens and the museum is very colorful and interesting too.
        It’s nice to come across someone familiar with Whidbey Island’s beauty.

Comment Policy:

We strive for a positive, supportive community discussion at Medellín Living. Please use your real name. Comments with anonymous, fake or company names will be deleted. If it's your first comment or you include a URL, it will be held for moderation. Critical comments that serve to enhance the conversation are welcome; comments that serve to insult or demean will be deleted.


Speak Your Mind

*