San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Colonial and Post-Colonial Buildings: Architectural Treasures of Guanacaste

HERITAGE: Though scant, remnants of the colonial period in Guanacaste doexist, most concentrated in the urban hub of the region, Liberia, and in some ofthe outlying towns.On facing page, the ceramic tiled roof (top left), shuttered window (top right),wrought-iron sidewalk bench (middle left) and eave (middle right) adorn residenceson Liberia’s Calle Real. Among the oldest houses in the country, thesestructures have been declared part of the historical architectural heritage ofCosta Rica.The Iglesia San Blas of Nicoya (bottom left) was originally built in 1644. It waspartially destroyed in a series of earthquakes over two centuries until, after aquake demolished Nicoya in 1826, the Constitutional Assembly authorized itsreconstruction in 1827. The building was declared of historical architecturalinterest in 1995. The Catholic parochial community of the region is the oldest inthe country, having come together in 1522.The Iglesia Agonía (bottom right), in Liberia’s Barrio Los Cerros, was built in1874, 20 years after the colonial period ended. Construction began in 1850. Madeof adobe, the church was declared an historic architectural heritage of CostaRica in 1999.The clock tower in Santa Cruz (above) is undergoing historic studies while in theprocess of becoming a part of the country’s official architectural heritage.Meanwhile, no information on the tower is available at the Ministry of Culture.

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