Museums, La Paz
Calle Jaen is a small street with several old colonial buildings from the 18th century. Four of the buildings are now converted into museums with different themes; ’Museo Costumbrista Juan de Vargas’, ’Museo Historico del Litoral’, ’Museo de Metales Preciosos Precolombianos’, and ’Museo Casa de Murillo’...
'Museo Costumbrista Juan de Vargas' functions as ticket office for the four museums, and it was here I bought my ticket for 'Museo de Metals Preciosos Precolombianos', the only museum I had time to visit... The museum is also called ‘the Gold Museum’, and there are lots of ‘precious’ artefacts... Many religious objects, but also decorative objects such as earrings, necklaces, and bracelets... It is not all gold and silver, the museum also contains a collection of paintings and ceramic objects. Most of the exhibited objects are from the Tiwanakus culture who lived many years before the Incas.
The museum exhibits a broad variety of textiles, weavings, male and female clothing from all around the bolivian andes.
It is located at a lovely house. I just loved how everything was carefully explained, there are around 7 different rooms, and it includes explanations in both english and spanish.
Some people consider it a must-see for weaving lovers, and I totally agree with that.
It's not very close to other museums in La Paz, and the price is much higher than any other museum; but I thought it was worth it.
Plus they have a little shop, and when you purchase something only 10% goes to the museum!, the rest is for weavers.
The Coca Museum is an interesting place to go and learn more about the Coca leaf and its history of use in Bolivia. The coca leaf is most famous of course for its conversion into Cocaine, the production of which provides an under economy in Bolivia. Coca leaves were traditionally chewed for the effect it had with altitude sickness.
Open from 10:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Saturday.
This is a little museum that is devoted to the coca plant, which plays a huge part in the culture and history of the Andean people around here.
At the museum, you will be given a tattered notebook (choice of various languages) and following the numbered indicators on the notebook, you can walk through the similarly-numbered exhibits and photos logically and read about the history, cultural significance, medical values, political implications of the humble little coca plant.
Coca leaves have been in used by the people of this land (Peru, Bolivia) for 4,500 years, as traces of the leaves were found in mummies from 2,500 BC to 1,800 BC.
When Potosi was an important mining city, coca leaves were used by the Indian slaves to make them work longer hours in infernal conditions. The Spanish controlled them carefully and at one point, the value of coca leaves was equal to the price of 450kg of gold!
Later, the anaesthetic effects of coca leaves were discovered by the Western World (although well-known by pre-Inca civilisations centuries ago who used them to perform skull trepanations - drilling a hole through the skull to perform brain surgery), so it became the fashion drug. Cocaine, a derivative from coca leaves, was later fashionably used in French wine and the most famous brand in the world - Coca Cola as an energy-booster.
Later, United Nations claimed that coca leaves was the cause of poverty in Bolivia and Peru, thereby creating a law that prohibited it.
Naturally, cocaine soon became a societal problem with drug addicts all over the world as well. For example, according to the museum, United States has 5% population but consumes 50% of cocaine that exists in the world.
Apparently, now there are 36 countries who have rights to produce cocaine (presumably for medical purposes) but Peru and Bolivia were not amongst them.
If you're in La Paz don't forget a visit to the coca museum.
It's very interesting, talks about the world of coca leaves, cocaine, forced labour, etc....
i was very suprised that they had a guidebooklet in Dutch, lany other languages where available as well.
this museum offers plenty of good handycrafts about la paz in the past.
for instance the activities, costums, presidents. it`s really interesting, i can say that visit it, it`s really worth!
este museo ofrece muchos hermosos trabajos hechos a mano acerca del pasado de la ciudad de La Paz. Por ejemplo las actividades, costumbres, presidentes. es realmente interesante. puedo decir que !la visita si vale la pena!
This small museum in Plaza Murillo is the former mansion of the Condes de Arana, built in 1775. Inside you can admire some works of contemporary Bolivian art, and the house itself has a beautiful fountain in the central patio.
Calle Jaen with its cobblestone street, balconies and stone doorways makes you think you are in Spain. There are four museums here: Museo del Litoral, Museo de Metales Preciosos Pre-Colombinos, Museo de Instrumentos Musicales, and the Casa de Don Pedro Domingo Murillo (first door on the left in the picture). The Museo Costumbrista Juan de Vargas is on Sucre just to the right from where the picture was taken.
Don t miss the coca museum when in La Paz. It is sponsored by many scientific institutes and by bolivian anti-narcotraficants special forces, with an informative and preventive roal on the ravages of cocaine and tries to rehabilitate the spiritual and healthy role of the coca leave.
The museum is very well done and you will learn a lot about the leave, first considered as devil by the Vatican, then praised to the skies by colons, europeans and americans (from Philipp II to Freud and Pemmberton - the inventor of a famous soft drink with the word Coca in its name), and nowadays again considered public ennemy number 1...
Pedro Domingo Murillo was a man who fought for the independence of Bolivia; the revolution of 1809 was born at his home, situated on picturesque Jaén Street. He was caught and executed in 1810. Nowaday his house (the yellow one on the left) is a museum.
Pedro Domingo Murillo fue un hombre que luchó por la independencia de Bolivia; la revolución de 1809 se originó en su casa, situada en la pintoresca calle Jaén. Fue capturado y ejecutado en 1810. En la actualidad su casa (la amarilla que aparece a la izquierda) es un museo.
in the calle Jaen you can visit 4 museum for one dollar included a personal guide with show you all the rooms and hall (spanish only)
The museum offers an exposition about the culture of Tihuanacu and interesting faces of different precolumbian cultures.
Open times: Tu -Fri 9-12.30 and 15-19 , Sa 15-18 and Su 10-13
Visit the 4 museums in Calle Jean with only one ticket.
CONTACT: NAYRA TOUR, Sagarnaga 288, local 20; TEL 591-2 360 448
Museo del Oro