Home to some of Bolivia’s best museums and galleries, Sucre provides visitors the chance to learn about the country’s cultural, artistic and religious history in some wonderfully inspiring settings. Most of the museums are conveniently located in the city’s center within walking distance from the main plaza
The following are our picks of the best museums to visit in Sucre:
A result of great passion, Museo del Tesoro is a cultural institution where people from all over the world can go to learn about the origin, technique and art of Bolivia’s metals and stones. The museum features several specialised areas dedicated to mining, gemology, jewellery and architecture.
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One of the most historically significant buildings in Bolivia is Sucre’s Casa de la Libertad where, in 1825, the republic was created with the signing of the Bolivian declaration of independence.
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While Museo Costumbrista features displays of costumes from Sucre’s colonial days, its name is not to be mistaken as meaning costume museum. Costumbrista translates to something more like customs or way of life. Museo Costumbrista therefore is a museum depicting life as it was in Sucre at the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries.
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Anthropology enthusiasts keen to learn about Bolivia’s folkloric and ethnic diversity will delight in Sucre’s small but fascinating ethnographic museum. Commonly referred to as MUSEF, Museo Nacional de Etnografia y Folklore provides a wonderful insight into Bolivia’s varied and colourful cultures from the pre-Colombian era to the present.
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ASUR (Anthropologists of the Southern Andes) is an organization which seeks to help communities in the Sucre area maintain and strengthen their cultural integrity, and improve their economic conditions, by promoting the production and sale of high quality indigenous arts and textiles. ASUR works with the Jalq’a and Tarabuco communities as well as a number of other communities in the area.
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The Museo Universitario Charcas is located in a 17th century mansion and is owned and operated by the Universidad San Francisco Xavier. Museo Universitario Charcas comprises three separate museums: the Anthropological Museum, the Colonial Museum, and the Gallery of Contemporary Art.
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Museo Eclesiástico de Sucre (Ecclesiastical museum) is a 10 room religious museum adjoining the Catedral Metropolitana. It showcases many of Sucre’s most important religious sculptures, paintings and artefacts. The Ecclesiastical Museum is also connected to, and permits access to, the Chapel of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the gem-encrusted depiction of the virgin.
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The Sucre Mask (or Mascara) Museum is a quick, entertaining way to soak up a bit of Bolivian culture. While it is technically part of the MUSEF museum, the mask museum is a 4 room exhibit which can be visited separately from the main museam. The museum features around 50 masks used in festivals and religious ceremonies in communities throughout Bolivia.
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Inca Pallay is not-for-profit organization which seeks to improve the lives of indigenous weavers in some of Bolivia’s poorest communities. Applying Fair Trade principles, the organization makes the weavers’ work available for sale in Sucre, La Paz and Tarabuco in stores which are as much museums dedicated to the textiles as they are actual stores.
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Located on the corner of Plaza 25 de Mayo is an old colonial house containing two museums. On the ground floor is a small natural history museum, while above it sits Museo Gutierrez.
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