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HEREDIA

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Heredia has a great variety of places to know and enjoy waiting for you. From its traditional Historic Centre, with interesting colonial buildings, to its exuberant National Parks, wonderful refuges that host a great biological diversity.
Its urban centre is impregnated with history; here travellers will have the impression that the walls and the columns, the belfries and the domes, are not only showy and monumental architectonic elements, but also and mostly silent witnesses of important events. Therefore, you need to stop and stare and try and discover the secrets they keep, a loving dilemma, treachery, and perhaps even a miracle.
And the visit to the Historic Centre prolongs, expands, it could become endless but time goes by and we need to leave the Parish of the Immaculate Conception, situated very close to the Central Park (meaning the City core), behind in order to visit the temple of The Rosary, and the Basilica, in the cyclopean compound of Santo Domingo, built in 1797.
The House of Culture, which belonged to former president of the republic, Alfredo Gonzales Flores, is located very close to the Basilica. It is a showy Museum and an artistic promotion centre, where conferences, concerts and fine arts exhibitions take place since 1994.
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    Since God has many houses in Heredia, we have to stop at San Joaquin de Flores, with its romantic style and its proverbial façade of granite stones, and at the gothic temple of San Isidro. Then, reloaded with faith, one must take a walk along the Plazoleta del Fortín, a small plaza surrounded by exquisite green areas.
    These are just a few details portraying the City of Heredia, the capital of the smallest Province in Costa Rica, located west of Alajuela and 12 kilometres south of San José.

    Parish of the Immaculate Conception: Those who believe that the third trial is the definite one, have their confirmation on this temple built in 1714 for the first time. Needless to say that in that time it was a modest construction with not much luxury. Later a second process that concluded with notable improvements (adobe walls and tiles on the roof) was begun, and due to this step up it would get the classification of independent parish.
    The corner stone of the current parochial building was laid on October the 31st of 1796. Heredia's inhabitants of those times wished to make a clear statement regarding their faith through this monumental work, which would make its voice be heard by the angels in heaven themselves through the tolling of its large bells.
    The works concluded between 1806 and 1807 and the outcome was so nice that it was justly declared National Monument in 1963.
    It is located between 2 Avenue and Central Street, in Heredia's Historic Centre.

    Fadrique Gutierrez Fort: This magnificent Fort that surged from the imagination of local serviceman Fadrique Gutierrez, then field commander and governor of the Province, before becoming reality in 1876, is made out of stones and limestone mortar, water and sand.
    The Fort has three parts; the first one is a quadrangular stone base with limestone and mud mortar. It is 6 metres high and its cornices jut out. The second level is cylindrical and it was built with bricks, with its embrasures and a battlemented balcony standing out. It is five metres high. The last body is octagonal and it is a little over two metres high.
    Beyond the architectonic details and monumentality of the Fort, it has not been free of the poisonous gossip of viper tongues, those that never fail to show when the time has come to raise suspicions or propagate ironies. In this case it was scornfully affirmed that the design of the windows seemingly attracted bullets rather than repel them.
    The slander did not ended there, it was also said that the initial idea was to built four defensive towers, but the lack of budget, according to the opinion of the prudent, or the dubious management of the said budget, according to the most daring, prevented the execution of the original project. Whatever was the reason, the true thing is that the Fort is a National Monument and Symbol of the City since 1974.
    It is situated on Central Street.

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