Casa Museo Otraparte is a small house in Envigado converted into a museum and dedicated to the life and works of Colombian philosopher and writer Fernando González (1895-1964).
This museum is considered a hidden gem with its old villa, beautiful gardens and a popular café. And we included Casa Museo Otraparte in our list of the 12 best Medellín museums.
González wrote about art, economics, history, morality, sociology and theology in a creative way. And González is considered one of the most original and controversial writers of Colombia during the 20th century.
González may not have the international recognition of other notable Colombian artists and authors, such as Fernando Botero or García Márquez. But González was a very important thought leader with great influence on Colombian society.
Casa Museo Otraparte
Casa Museo Otraparte is the former home of González, which is a small villa with a beautiful garden and café located in Envigado.
The museum tries to preserve some elements of the look and feel of the house during the life of González. And the displays in the house provide information about González’s life and his works. But these displays unfortunately are all in Spanish.
In addition, the museum acts as a cultural center for the city. The museum frequently hosts screenings of international or independent films, lectures on art and literature, musical performances and other events, which can be seen on the Casa Museo Otraparte schedule.
Entrance fee: the museum is free to enter.
History of Casa Museo Otraparte
In 1940, Fernando González started the construction of his villa in Envigado that originally was called La Huerta del Alemán (The Garden of the German). But World War II made him change the name to Otraparte (Other Place).
The villa was designed by architect Carlos Obregón, engineer Félix Mejía Arango and painter Pedro Nel Gómez.
In 1953, Gonzáles was nominated consul of Colombia in Europe, but he stayed most of the time in Bilbao, Spain where he studied Simon Bolívar and Ignatius of Loyola. And in September 1957, González returned to Colombia, to live in his Otraparte villa in Envigado, until his death in 1964.
In 2006, President Álvaro Uribe approved Law 1068 that exalted the memory, life and work of the Antioquean philosopher Fernando González and declared Casa Museo Otraparte in Envigado as a national patrimony.
More About Fernando González (1895 – 1964)
Fernando González Ochoa was born on April 24, 1895 in Envigado. He lived during the beginning of the 20th century, a time of major change, political turbulence and revolutions in industry in Colombia, which are reflected in his works and thoughts.
In 1917, González graduated with a bachelor in philosophy degree from the University of Antioquia. And in 1919, he received a law degree from the same university.
González served as magistrate of the Superior Court of Manizales, second judge of the Circuit of Medellín and consul of Colombia in the European cities of Genoa, Marseille, Bilbao and Rotterdam.
Fernando González is considered by many to be one the most original of the Colombian philosophers and writers. His ideas were controversial and had a great influence in the Colombian society during his time and today.
He faced Colombian lies and his contemporaries did not forgive him for the frankness with which he spoke. So, his work was often rejected. However, his truth, which hits hard in his books, is still so alive that it has become even more valid over the years.
In addition, Ernesto Cardenal, a Nicaraguan poet, said:
Who is Fernando González? He is an unclassifiable writer: mystic, novelist, philosopher, poet, essayist, humorist, theologian, anarchist, foul-mouthed, blessed and at the same time irreverent, sensual and chaste … What else? An original writer, as there is no other in Latin America or anywhere else that I know of.
Café del Otraparte
Directly behind the museum is the Café del Otraparte, which is considered to be one of the best cafés in Medellín. So, it’s a popular café that is worth visiting.
The café has seating in the garden area as well as some seating inside the café. The café serves some excellent coffee, desserts and other food. And it’s a good place to sit and relax from the bustle of the city.
How to Get to Casa Museo Otraparte
Casa Museo Otraparte is located in Envigado. And it is located only a five-minute walk from an area in Envigado known as Calle de la Buena Mesa (Street of the Good Table), which has many restaurants.
Envigado is a separate municipality in the Aburrá Valley, which is located directly south of El Poblado in Medellín.
One way to get to Casa Museo Otraparte is via the Medellín Metro. And the museum is located about a 15-minute walk from the Ayurá metro station on Line A.
In addition, some taxi or Uber drivers in Medellín will know where Casa Museo Otraparte in Envigado is located. If not, give the driver the museum address below. And Casa Museo Otraparte is a relatively short taxi ride from El Poblado, which will cost less than 10,000 pesos.
In addition, it’s normally pretty easy to catch a taxi in the street in front of the museum.
Address: Carrera 43A # 27 Sur-11, Envigado
Phone: +57 4 448 2404
Hours: Monday to Friday: 8 am to 8 pm; Saturday and Sunday: 9 am to 5 pm.
Museums in Medellín
On the Medellin Guru website, we have looked at 17 different museums in Medellín:
- Museo de Antioquia – the most popular museum in Medellín, worth visiting. It’s best known for a collection of art of Medellín-born artist Fernando Botero.
- Medellín’s Museo de Arte Moderno (Modern Art Museum) – worth a visit with an intriguing mix of exhibitions located in a striking building.
- Parque Explora – Medellín’s popular interactive science museum and aquarium. It has over 300 activities and the largest freshwater aquarium in South America.
- Jardín Botánico – Medellín’s free botanical gardens that is also considered a museum with over 1,000 different living plants on display.
- Planetario de Medellín – Medellín’s Planetarium and space museum that is very popular and worth seeing, particularly with kids.
- Museo El Castillo – Medellín’s beautiful Gothic-style castle that is a museum.
- Museo Cementerio San Pedro – a cemetery that is also a popular museum in Medellín worth visiting. It also has a church with many beautiful stained-glass windows.
- Museo Casa de la Memoria – a museum dedicated to honoring the victims of urban conflict in Medellín and Colombia and is worth seeing to better understand the city and country.
- Museo del Agua – the popular Medellín water museum.
- Casa Museo Otraparte – a hidden gem in Envigado consisting of a museum, cultural space and café dedicated to the life and works of Colombian philosopher Fernando González.
- Museo Universidad Antioquia (MUUA) – a Medellín museum located on the University of Antioquia’s campus with a huge collection of nearly 40,000 archaeological and natural history pieces.
- Museo Casa Gardeliana – a museum located in Medellín that is dedicated to tango music and musician Carlos Gardel.
- Pedro Nel Gómez Casa Museo – a museum located in Aranjuez that is dedicated to the life and works of important Colombian artist Pedro Nel Gómez who is best known for his extensive work as a muralist.
- Museo Etnográfico Miguel Angel Builes – a hidden gem museum in Medellín dedicated to showing the cultural diversity of indigenous and ethnic groups in Colombia.
- Rafael Uribe Uribe Palace of Culture – Medellín’s palace in El Centro is one of the most photographed buildings in the city. It’s considered a museum by the city of Medellín but there aren’t very many exhibits to see inside.
- Museo Entomológico Piedras Blancas (MEPB) – an insect museum located at the Parque Ecológico Piedras Blancas, which is an ecological park located in Santa Elena near Medellín.
- Museo de Ciudad – Medellín’s City Museum, which is located next to Pueblito Paisa. This museum has a scale model of the city and a photo exhibit with photos from the 1890s to about 1950 showing the history of the city of Medellín.
The 10 English-language Colombia guidebooks that I have are missing several of these museums. And each guidebook only includes six to nine out of the 17 museums in Medellín we have looked at.
The Bottom Line: Casa Museo Otraparte
Casa Museo Otraparte doesn’t get as many visitors as the larger museums in Medellín. It’s a more obscure museum that isn’t found in many of the travel guide books. But this museum in Envigado is still worth a visit, particularly if you are looking for something different to do.
The museum with its old house, beautiful gardens and café is considered a hidden gem, which is worth seeing. And there are free movies being shown at the museum each month, which can be seen on the Casa Museo Otraparte schedule.
Also, you could combine a visit to this museum with a meal at one of the many restaurants that are located at Calle de la Buena Mesa in Envigado (such as Black Pepper Steakhouse), which is located only a five-minute walk from the museum.
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