The Museum Andres del Castillo was inaugurated in November 2008. It’s housed in the recently restored Casa Belen, an historic mansion which origins go back to the 17th century. The museum displays mainly a unique collection of crystallized minerals from Peru, interesting pieces of the Chancay Culture, antique Peruvian textiles from different cultures and prehispanic utensils for yarning and weaving.
The first records of the 'Casa Belen' are from around 1606. Like most historical buildings in Lima the Belen house had to be renovated and even rebuilt several times. After being abandoned for many years, the Andres del Castillo Foundation under its president Guido del Castillo bought the decayed old mansion in 2006. In memory of his son Andrés del Castillo Rey, a mining engineering student who tragically died in 2006 only aged 26, the Casa Belen should become a house of science, history and culture and bear his name. A meticulous restoration began and finally in 2008 the Republican style mansion shone in new splendor and was transformed to the Andres del Castillo Museum.
The museum displays the private collection of the del Castillo family divided in 4 areas: minerals, Chancay ceramics, ancient clothing and Casa Belen.
As the enormous variety of crystallized minerals in the Andes made Peru to one of the richest countries in the world for minerals, the mineral collection containing unique crystallized Peruvian pieces, from micro minerals, cabinet specimens to amazing museum pieces is extraordinary. The Chancay exhibitions presents perfectly preserved ceramics including great antropomorphic sculptures. The third area is dedicated to pre-Hispanic clothing. On display are various remarkable textiles including clothes, robes, belts, shoes and hats made and used by ancient Peruvians. One exhibition is reserved for the beautifully restored mansion the Andres del Castillo Museum is housed in. Here the history of the Casa Belen, the architecture and latest restoration is explained.