At Sunday we went to see more from San José, Central City of Costa Rica and “our” City where we live and go to university. In the morning some very friendly Tico students picked us up at the ULAIT University and we started our tour to downtown San José.
At first we walked through some old streets, where buildings from the last century are situated. The first attraction was the Morazan Park with the amazing Templo la Música inside. This temple should be an imitation of the temple of love and music in Versailles, France. On December 24th in 1920 the temple became a forum for political speeches and exchange. In the 20th century, also orchestras and bands used the temple for concerts, like the San Jose City Band and the National Symphonic Orchestra, which offer concerts here on special occasions.
The next stop was at the Parque España. This is a very special park, because it is the closest possibility to get to the jungle and still be in San José. Inside this park grow tropical trees from all around the country. On Sundays, artists are there and show their culture. As many other attractions like the Museo del Jade, the Edificio Metálico and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo are close to the park it is easily possible to visit them. We passed those places and the Tico students tried to explain us as much about the city as it was possible. They were very helpful, friendly and tried to answer all our questions about the culture and also some official buildings in San José.
Another very important building is located on the south side of the Plaza de la Cultura, the Costa Rica’s National Theater. The theater is the cultural temple in Costa Rica since more than a century. In 1890, a European opera company toured in Central America but was unable to perform in Costa Rica because there was no suitable place to do so. This was the beginning of the National Theatre. Wealthy coffee barons implemented a tax on coffee exports in order to fund the construction of this theater.
Through the Avenida Central we went to the last point of the tour, the Catedral Metropolitana. The original cathedral was built in 1802 but was destroyed by an earthquake, so it had to be replaced in 1871. The cathedral has a colonial style inside, tiled floor and stainless windows with biblical scenes. At the main altar we saw statues of cherubs and a wooden figure of Christ. At the end of the tour, we went to the Avenida Central again, where it is possible to find typical food and cloths from Costa Rica as well as postcards. The tour was a perfect introduction to San José and it was a lot of fun too.
text: Anna Provasnek, picture: Enri Chantal Strobel