Costa Rica National Museum
Costa Rica's most important historical museum was before an army barracks, which was in use while the historical fighting, the civil war of 1948. The National Museum was created by the end of the XIX century, following a liberal project of “order and progress”, trying to save the cultural part of the city. In 1887, former president Mr. Bernardo Soto, created the Museum as a public establishment to deposit, classify, and study natural and artistic products found around the country. Even now, visitors could see hundreds of bullet holes on the turrets at its corners, as they approach the building. The now Museum is a traditional Spanish-style courtyard building, which hosts many displays on Costa Rican history and culture from pre-Columbian times to the present.
In the pre-Columbian area, visitors will enjoy a 2,500-year-old jade carving that is shaped like a seashell and etched with an image of a hand holding a small animal. There are also numerous archaeological objects, such as metates, or ornately decorated grinding stones, unearthed at Costa Rica's archeological sites such as Guayabo. Some of the metates are the size of a small bed and specialists believed to have been part of funeral rites. In other area of the museum, there is a separate vault with a collection of pre-Columbian gold jewelry and figurines. A beautiful scene of city could be seen from the courtyard, as well as some of Costa Rica's mysterious stone spheres.