San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and one of the most populated provinces of the country. It is in the center of the country, extends to the northwest, crossing the mountains of the Central Cordillera, which include national parks, forest reserves and fertile lands with abundant coffee fields.
It is the political, economic, and social center of Costa Rica. San Jose focuses the transport towards the different provinces, cities, and towns of Costa Rica, as well as the centralization of the telecommunications.
It has a diverse architecture, as diverse is the nature of Costa Rica and its people. In the northern sector of the capital you can see the most refined samples of urbanism of the early twentieth century. There are many houses and buildings built with European influence resulting from immigration from Spain and Italy, as well as the contribution by Costa Rican people whom studied in Belgium and France. To all this influence is added the contribution with the own Costa Rican identity.
One of the most representative sites of the city is the National Theater. This building is a pride for Costa Ricans, and is home to some of the best national and foreign artists. It was inaugurated in 1897 and is considered an architectural jewel of the city.
Other historical buildings that we can find are the Post Office and Telegraph Building of Costa Rica, also of neoclassical style. And the popular Teatro Melico Salazar, in Baroque style.
Some important state-owned historic buildings are the Casa Amarilla (Yellow House) headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) or the Castillo Azul (Blue Castle) headquarters of the Legislative Assembly. Another important theater is the National Auditorium (526 seats), which is located inside the Costa Rican Center of Science and Culture (former Central Penitentiary), which also houses the National Gallery and the Children's Museum. The National Auditorium Theater is one of the most versatile in the country: concerts of classical music, national and international concerts, beauty contests, audiovisual presentations, conferences, seminars, scientific and intellectual congresses and, of course, plays.
Museums of great importance for the country are the National Museum of Costa Rica (former Headquarters Bellavista), the Children's Museum and the Costa Rican Art Museum (former control tower of El Coco Airport). The Jade Museum owns the largest collection of jade pieces in the world, with 2500 objects.
Old traditional markets like the Central Market of San José, the Bourbon Market, and the Handicraft Market are very visited by foreign tourists and local people.
San Jose is in constant change, in the city new buildings are observed, and there is a strong vertical real estate boom that drives the construction of big towers in several sectors of the capital.
The city also houses a variety of shopping centers where there are different types of consumer businesses and other commercial establishments, all of them referring to the new culture of globalization and modernity present in a capital daily life.
In the city, there is a very extensive cultural offer ranging from theater and dance, to poetry and innumerable branches of the plastic arts. The metropolis is a meeting point for hundreds of foreign cultures from more than 150 countries around the world, making it a cosmopolitan, immigrant-receiving city. In addition, a meeting center of many other national subcultures.
San Jose also has restaurants in which you can appreciate culinary art of an international level. In recent years the fusion food has evolved much in the culinary art with blends of local products with high standards. Do not miss a visit to Barrio Escalante and its Gastronomic Passage La Luz.
There are pubs and restaurants where artisan beer produced in Costa Rica is manufactured or can be purchased. It is an art, which gave rise to the Handcrafted Beer Festival, which is the most important event of the Artisan Brewers Association of Costa Rica. The festival has an educational focus where visitors can learn about craft beer as a gourmet drink, tasting, brewing, culture, and enjoyment in moderation in a fun atmosphere.
The Art City Tour is a Cultural program, managed by civil society and integrating other initiatives and groups that work to benefit the imaginary of the city. During the tours, visitors have free access to all participating cultural spaces and transportation units enabled during the night.
Although Costa Rica is recognized worldwide for its nature, do not miss the opportunity to know a little about San José and its growing cultural and gastronomic offer, and its resurgence as a city.
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