San Jose

TOWNS: Cartago

Situated 22 kilometres off the capital in the Valley of El Guarco, on 1.435 m.a.s.l. That was established in 1563 by Juan Vasguez de Coronado. Several times (1572, 1574) the first settlers changed its position (and that`s why it was called the "moving city"). In 1574 the governor Anguciano de Gamboa removed Cartago Mata Redonda to its current position. Till 1823 that served as the capital. Its name means "the muds town". Because of the specific weather conditions it`s often called "the town of fogs". It`s the nation's religious center and home of Costa Rica's patron saint: La Negrita, or Virgen de los Angeles (she has been the saint patron of Cartago since 1872). In 1822 and especially in 1910, huge destructions due to the earthquake. In the town there is the Intitute Technical of Costa Rica. In 1972 the monument of Melico Salazar was unveiled. On July 2002 in town occured the controversial destruction of two historical victorial style buildings ready to be recognized the national monuments (by their new owners).

Barrio El Molino
The quarter that is situated at the south part of the town. On October 27th of 1891 that was inundaciones and many buildings have been covered by the water. There is situated Square of Independence.

Basilique of Los Angeles
The cathedral stands in the eastern part of town, on the rock, where on August 2nd of 1635, small stone figure of Black Virgin (popular called La Negrita) appeared for Juana Pereira-a young mulatto wood gatherer. (Legend has it that, the figure, on finding it by girl, was put by a priest in local church, from which two-times dissapeared and back to the same place in the forest. Its dissapearing stopped after building on that place a chapel. Inside there is a room full of silver medalions attesting to La Negrita`s miracles. Behind the cathedral there is a well from where pilgrims collect holy water. It`s surrounded by small 8-columned dome. On every year, around a half a million of pilgrims from all over Central America come to basilica to worship on August 2nd. The first cathedral was destroyed by the earthquake in 1926 and was soon rebuilt in Bizantine style.

Casa Club Jardines
[Av.2/calle 1-3]. (Club Sociales de Cartago). It was built in 1921. It`s light-green and is destinguished by three rysalites. The two-storey building has the flat roof. There are held weddings, birthdays celebrations and parties.

Casa del Pirie
[Av.2/calle 3]. (Casa de la Ciudad). The corner, two storey building on square base. The first ground is rustificated and stands out with very big ornated corner shield. The gate and windows are embraced by historical frames with keys. The windows of second floor are added with iron balconies. The protuberant mould covers up the roof. The name comes from the last name of architect who designed that. It serves as the house of culture. There are held often the exhibitions.

Church of El Carmen
[Av.2/calle 3]. It was built in 1960. Proceded by steps, the fasade is accented by three arched gates and windows. It is topped by high clock tower. The structure is plastered and windows of side walls embraced in ornate frames. On every year, on August 2nd the traditional procession with the figure of Black Virgin walk from Cathedral of Los Angeles to that.

Church of Maria Auxiliadora
[Av.4/calle11]. It was designed by Gabriel Brenes. It was built in neo-gothic style in 1923 and primary served as a orphan`s chapel. It is one naved and its side walls (with the exception of narrow, longitudinal bays beneath the mould) are in lack of windows. The fasade is lined by metal sheet and stands out with ornate spires, large sharp arched main gate, narrow arched stained-glass windows and rounded rosette. The inside is accented by white and black marbles.

Colegio of San Luis Gonzaga
It was set up in 1869, but the current one-storey building was built in 1929. It`s placed on calle5/avenida 3 (the complex of lower buildings is spread to the south). It has a stone foundations. The arched windows are separated by pilasters. The main entrance has the four columns on which is put the triangular fronton. It has flat roof and its central part is destinguished by the exuberant very massive concrete dome. The first principal of that school was Valentiano Fernandez Ferraz. There is situated the Elias Leiva Museum.

Colegio Vocacional de Artes y Oficios
It was built in 1902. Before 1948 it was named Hospicio de Huerfanos de Cartago. In 2002 it was granted the title "Meritorious building for education".

Drugstore Residencial Molino
[Av.1/calle 2]. It was built at the beginning of the XX century. It`s one-storey and consists of three parts (among which two sided ones could be separated structures and the middle one treats as their link. It stands out with the square windows put into ornamentall frames. It has two-sided roof.

Hospital Max Peralta
[Av.5-9/calle 1-3]. It was named after Cartago doctor. It`s a complex building. Its main structure is a rysalite that is higher than the rest buildings. It`s destinguished by high ground floor and large windows devided into 6 glasses. (In the rest of the buildings the windows are devided into 4 glasses).

Houses and the streets
In the centre of Cartago there are a few historical buildings. The most impressive belonged to descendants of conquistadors (they are distinguished by fretwork eaves and interior archways), and the rest in the suburbs to the servant workers. In that quarter remained the old scheme of streets.

Library of Maria Sancho
[Av. 2/calle 1-3]. It was built in 1924 on square base. It was the first municipal library in town. It looks like a villa. It is one storey building with the main gate hided in deep niche sided by two windows. It stands out with very protuberant foundations and attic. It has been considered the historical building since 1987.

Monument Manuel Salazar Zunca
It was made in 1972. It is situated in front of the Ruina church, on the lawn and shaded trees. It`s in honour of famous Costa Rica tenor (Melico Salazar).

Museum of Etnography
[Av.3-5/calle 3-5]. It is named in honour of Elias Levy. It was established in 1933 and is placed in San Louis Gonzaga College. There are features objects of historical, archeological (800 precolombian objects) and etnographical value.

Park of Jesus Jimenez
[Av.6/calle 1]. It is placed in Barrio El Carmen, at the northern side of Mercado Central. There are planted low trees with stunted palms. All the alleys are met in the central point, where since 1903 has been placed on protuberant pedestal a monument of ex-president [1863-1866, 1868-1870] Jesus Jimenez.

[Av.6/calle 2]. Placed on a small eminence, stoned, one-storey building dated to XIX century with corner square towers and proceded by steps the main gate stuck to massive rysalite. It is rectangular based with internal garden. It stands out by stone foundation, two sided roof and high, very narrow sharp arched windows. The mould is ended by imitation of crenelage.

[Av.2/calle 2]. The ruin of the Saint Bartholome church. It`s building was interrupted by the earthquake in 1910. It started to be building even in 1574 but due to many reasons 5 times had to be stopped. Now it consists of only walls without the roof, that surrounded inside well maintained garden. There is put the Independence Bell. Next to the ruin run dug out by archeologists historic cobble-stone street. Along its kerb spreads the canal through which flow the rain water used by inhabitants. Soon it should be illuminated.

Square of Independence
[Av.2/calle 11]. Within that are placed the church of Maria Auxiliadora and the municipal library. Its name derives from the monument of Independence which is placed there. There are busts and commemorating plates of participants of 1823 events (the National War of Ochomogo).

Square Major
[Av.1-2/calle 1-2]. In its center since 1997 there have been high concrete pyramid surrounded by few slabs featuring the reliefs depicting the colonial life (in 2002 2.000 inhabitants called for destroying that and building on it new kiosko). The park is scattered by the benches consisting of three elements resembling the loafs of bread. The south west corner of park is planted by high shaded trees. In northern edge is placed long blue town hall of art deco style. In North-west corner stands Cinema Apollo. In eastern edge is placed the Ruina church.

Square of National Sanctuary
[Av.2-4/calle 14-16]. It`s designed in the eastern part of town. In its east edge there is the cathedral of Los Angeles. It was lately renovated. It`s paved, has elaborate lamps and a strange kiosko in the north-east corner (which is on a slight platform with a concrete gate). There are long gasons with brushes and a statue of Monsenor Sanabria (Costa Rican archbischop). In the center is put the big two-leveled fountain with very wide foundation.

Suburb of Ochomogo
The western quarter of Cartago situated on the pine forested hill of the same name. In 1823 there happened the final battle in national war (called the Ochomogo National War). In its result, Costa Rica entered to the Unity Provinces of Central America.

Train station
[Av.6/calle 3-5]. Rectangular based, very narrow building. It`s one storey, covered by tent roof. Nad prostokAbove rectangular windows there are ornated buttresses. For many years it has been empty.

2004; SLUPSK; Rafal Cezary Piechocinski