It also displays the natural wealth of the country and objects of historical importance. It is a scientific investigation center in the fields of natural history, anthropology and history of Costa Rica.
The German naturalist Alexander von Frantzius built his house here in 1870, and was bought in 1876 by the renowned Costa Rican teacher Mauro Fernandez.
The museum was founded in 1887 and has had four different locations, three of which have already been demolished.
It is currently located in the Old Cuartel Bellavista, where the military forces that supported the government were established. By the end of the civil war on December 1st, 1948, Jose Figueres Ferrer gave the symbolic and strong blow with a hammer to one of the walls of the Cuartel, abolishing the army as institution in Costa Rica.
Currently you can see how the building changed from Cuartel to museum, and appreciate its graffiti walls that show the feelings of the soldiers and political prisoners that were kept in its cells.
When going through the museum, you can learn about the spiritual value of native gold, the lifestyle of ancient cultures that date from 10.000 B.C. to the Spanish colonization in 1500 A.D., the colonial period and the changes caused by the independence, among others. It altogether displays a synthesis of the development of Costa Rica.
The Department of Natural History manages the oldest and most complete collections of Natural History of the country. At least 15% of the pieces that are part of these collections date from the late XIX century and early XX century.