Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Bogotá for Beginners: Casa de la Moneda
In the heart of Bogotá, just a few steps from the Plaza de Bolivar, you will find the House of Coins --La Casa de la Moneda. Established in 1621, by the military engineer Alonso Turrillo de Yebra, who had been authorized by the King of Spain to create the first money minting facility in the New Kingdom of Granada (el Nuevo Reino de Granada).
It was in a rented house, in what is known as La Candelaria, that Turrillo de Yerba began making the first gold coins in the Americas. The coins were known as doblones. The original ones made were done by hand and each looked slightly different on the edges. But by 1756, the production was mechanized and more uniform circular coins were made.
In the 1960's, the Colombian government began the process of restoring the original mint and its colonial architecture. In 1982, the restored building opened to the public as a museum. There are both permanent and temporary exhibits.
The exhibit that most impressed our boys was seeing a real Pirate treasure chest and original money safes. On the day we were there, we were given coins that read CASA DE LA MONEDA on them. Very Cool!!
The best part is that it is free!!! There is no admission charge. Below you will find the address and hours of operation.
Calle 11 No. 4-93
Monday -Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 7 :00 p.m.
Sundays and Holidays: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.