The Museo Nacionale is one of the more imposing museums in Bogotá – from a purely exterior perspective, so don’t be put off. The large stone front that has no windows and only one arched doorway, which reflects the building’s original purpose as a prison originally designed by English architect Thomas Reed. The building was later used as a monastery before becoming a museum in 1948. Inside are artefacts from the pre-Hispanic and Colonial eras, as well as items that represent Colombia’s struggle for independence. These objects are arranged into exhibitions that include archaeological finds from Rio Magdalena and the Tomb of Highland Narinense, a room dedicated to Colombian mummification practices 470 AD-1750 AD, gold and silver vaults, and plenty of portraits depicting Colombia’s founders of independence. The Museum also showcases contemporary art, including the earlier works of Botero, and hosts temporary exhibitions on famous Colombian and international artists. The museum is extremely modern and carefully designed, and offers a fascinating insight into Colombia’s history.