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.
In addition, we included Museo El Castillo in our list of the 12 best Medellín museums.
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
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: 13,000 pesos for adults or 9,000 pesos for children and students.
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: 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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Editors note: updated on December 1, 2018 with new Museo El Castillo entrance fees.