You wouldn’t expect to find a European-style castle in South America, but Medellín has a castle. Museo El Castillo is a Gothic-style castle in Medellín that was a former residence, which is now a museum.
The gardens of the castle are kept in very good condition and offer nice panoramic views of the city of Medellín. And it’s a great place to relax for an hour or more. Also, it’s a good place for a picnic.
History of Museo El Castillo
El Castillo was reportedly built in 1930 by H.M Rodríguez, a construction firm in Medellín. In addition, its architecture was inspired by castles of the Loire Valley in France.
Initially, this was the residence of José Tobón Uribe, who had brought the plans for the building directly from Paris.
The style of the castle is medieval Gothic. It is Gothic for its towers finished in needles and medieval for the ogival shape of its doors and windows.
In 1943, Diego Echavarría Misas bought El Castillo and converted it into his place of residence. Don Diego and Doña Benedikta Zur Nieden, his wife, remodeled and enlarged their rooms with the purpose of converting it into a museum and giving it to the City as a cultural center.
In 1971, El Castillo, its grounds and gardens ceased to be a residence and became a museum. And today, Museo El Castillo is a non-profit private foundation turned into a museum. Furthermore, it is dedicated to the promotion of arts and culture.
The museum preserves collections of works by Colombian masters, European artists and collections of decorative arts. This includes some furniture from the beginning of the last century, Baccarat glassware, china and porcelain from European manufacturers.
Inside Museo El Castillo
The rooms in the castle have been reportedly maintained exactly as they originally were used. A typical bedroom has a canopy bed or a cot with old photos on the walls.
Also, there is a 12-seat dining room table with old porcelain dishes. And there is a library with a winding staircase and much more.
The castle is beautiful inside with wooden floors and many pieces of classic furniture and many old paintings. Unfortunately, you are not permitted to take photos inside the museum. And there are hourly tours of the inside of the castle. But the tours are in Spanish.
In addition, there is a small café for refreshments and snacks.
The Park and Gardens (Parque y Jardines) of Museo El Castillo
A completely renovated park and its gardens at Museo El Catillo were inaugurated on June 3, 2010, under the direction of the architect Alberto Montes, of the firm AM Arquitectos.
There are several gardens at Museo El Castillo. The French garden formerly formed the main park of the Museum. And today it looks like a garden of European castles, with floral ornamentation and bronze fountains made by the sculptor Humberto Tamayo Jaramillo. This space was inspired by the creations of Le Notre in France.
In addition, there is a Japanese garden, a contemporary garden, a native forest and a courtyard of azaleas at Museo El Castillo.
Picnics and Other Services at Museo El Castillo
The museum offers services for picnics in the park at Museo El Castillo. So, keep that in mind if looking for something romantic or for birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, business events, family days and more.
They supply everything for the picnic including food, a basket, tablecloth, plates, silverware, glasses and sauces. They offer six picnic options with juices or a bottle of wine. For two people the picnic cost ranges from 60,000 to 95,000 pesos. Reservations for a picnic need to be made two days in advance.
The El Castillo Museum has medieval Gothic architecture surrounded by fountains and renovated gardens and the rent out spaces for a number of events:
- Business events
- Training programs
- Seminars and conventions
- Advertising and promotional events
Sometimes the entire El Castillo grounds are closed and used for special events.
Club Colombia Picnic 2018 at Museo El Castillo
On April 7, 2018 at 2 pm was one of the private events at El Castillo, which was the Club Colombia Picnic 2018. The museum was closed and the entire grounds of El Castillo were used for this sizable picnic sponsored by the Club Colombia beer company.
Club Colombia had many beer-stands set up and several different food options. In addition, there were many bean bags and tables with chairs plus other types of seats set up throughout the park. They also had a DJ with music playing. And the fee to enter the picnic event at El Castillo was 22,500 pesos.
I went to this large Club Colombia picnic at Museo El Castillo. It was nice as you could sit and drink beer in the beautiful park setting with great views of the city Medellín while eating something and listening to the music.
Club Colombia is hosting large picnics in eight cities in 2018 in Colombia. Here’s the 2018 schedule for Club Colombia’s Picnics in Colombia:
- Cartagena – March 30 at Parque La Marina
- Medellín – April 7 at Museo El Castillo
- Cali – April 14 at Parque de la Flora
- Manizales – April 21 at Parque Los Alcázares
- Tunja – April 28 at Parque Recreacional
- Bucaramanga – May 5 at Las Pavas
- Bogotá – May 19 at Parque El Chico
- Villavicencio – June 3 at Parque Fundadores
Location of Museo El Catillo
How to Get to Museo El Castillo
Museo El Castillo is located up the hill in the Loma de Los Balsos of El Poblado. It’s possible to take public transportation to get there.
You could take the Medellín Metro Line A to the Aguacatala station. From this metro station there are two bus routes that run by Museo El Castillo:
- Poblado Route 132I – from Aguacatala station goes to Clínica Las Vegas, Oviedo mall, Loma de Los Balso and Museo El Castillo.
- Poblado Route 133 IIA – from Aguacatala station goes to Avenida El Poblado, Santafé mall, Loma de Los Balso and Museo El Castillo.
Also, from El Centro at Parque Berrio in front of the Banco de Bogotá there is the Comercial Hotelera Route 305 bus that take a roundabout route to Calle Colombia, Estadio, UPB, Terminal Sur, Calle 10, Parque El Poblado, Avenida El Poblado, Loma de Los Balsos and Museo El Castillo.
In addition, it is possible to walk to Museo El Castillo from Santafé mall. But this is an uphill walk of about 20 minutes or more, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
Furthermore, most taxi or Uber driver in Medellín will know where Museo El Castillo is located. If not, give the driver the below address. And it’s also normally pretty easy to catch a taxi on the road outside the museum.
Also, if you drive they have 150 parking spaces available that cost 6,000 pesos for cars and 3,000 pesos for motorcycles.
Address: Calle 9 Sur 32-269 Loma Los Balsos, El Poblado, Medellín
Telephone: +57 (4) 266 0900
Hours: Monday – Friday: 9 am – noon and 2 pm – 6 pm; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: 10 am – 5 pm.
Entrance fee: 12,000 pesos or 8,000 pesos for students
The Bottom Line: Museo El Castillo
Museo El Castillo is a unique building in Medellín that is worth visiting. Furthermore, it’s a great place to get away from the bustle of the city and relax in a nice setting with great views.
I have been to Museo El Castillo many times over the past seven years. When I have visitors from out of the country this is usually one of the places in Medellín I take visitors to.
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