The Casa de la Cultura in Quito is a giant round building near Parque El Ejido. It contains varied spaces, from theaters small and large, to a museum dedicated to the multiple cultures of Ecuador. The day we entered, the museum was free but online information says that the cost of entrance may be anywhere from $1 to $2. Either way, you can enter just to see an exhibit or two or take more time and peruse it all. Just don’t visit on a Sunday as the museum is closed.
As you enter, the first room is full of a large collection of pottery from several pre-Columbian cultures, not just the Inca. In the back rooms, space is dedicated to colonial times with a collection of mainly religious artifacts that demonstrate the power of Catholicism during colonization.
But there is a collection more impressive than both of these. In a small space that looks darker than night awaits a stunning collection of gold. Lights turn on in each room as patrons enter so that the gold is lit only when a person is there to see it. The gold gleams in the dark space. The highly polished surfaces, the intricate metal work, and the artistry of each and every piece is on display. If you only have time to visit a single collection at the Casa de la Cultura, this should be it.