The Zenú Gold Museum
Museo del Oro Zenú Façade - Rescued by the Banco de la Republica, the Zenú Gold Museum holds some of the city's finest cultural treasures
Gold Exhibit - The intricate gold ornaments shaped by the Zenú and other pre-Colombian groups
El Dorado - The promise of gold lured the Spanish Conquistadores to the Americas
Golden Trinckets - The marvellous metallurgical work of the Zenú on display
Housed in a charming colonial house on the Plaza Bolivar rescued by Colombia's central bank, the Zenú gold museum boasts a priceless insight into the pre-Colombian culture of the Caribbean.
Fortunately plenty of the pre-Colombian bling that fuelled the Spanish land-grab through the Americas in the 16th century slipped through the sloppy Conquistadores fingers and some of the best examples of intricate gold-work survived their indiscriminate plundering.
Two main exhibits celebrate the intricate metallurgical and ceramic arts of the Zenú indigenous population that have inhabited the area between the Sinu and Magdalena Rivers for more than 2,000 years.
Displays explore the traditions of the Zenú and other tribes throughout the country focusing in particular on the traditional methods of burying their dead in mounds that resemble the stomachs of pregnant women and the advanced drainage systems used to cultivate the lands to the north of the country.
Gold has been central to the city's development since it was founded in 1533 and it was Cartagena's founder father, Pedro de Heredia that headed the first expedition up the River Sinú in search of the gold of the 'Mogote graves'.
The plundering of Zenú graves along the Sinú and in the San Jorge and Cauca valleys was so successful, and the region was so rich in indigenous labour and cultivated products, that these financed local government in the city for decades.