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San Jose History, Costa Rica

San José in Costa Rica has a fascinating history.  It is currently the capital of Costa Rica but it was not the original capital.  It was first a small pueblo that was founded in 1738.  Cartago was the original capital of Costa Rica.  Many families moved away from the capital in search of starting over and new opportunities. 

A little less than 200 people moved into an area known as the Valley of Aserrí, which was south of San José city.  A few years later these settlers were forced to move into the capital city where a church was built for the induction of the new city.  The church was named Saint Joseph or in Spanish as San José.

Less than one hundred years after the establishment of San José, Costa Rica became independent from Spanish rule because of the Mexican Revolution.  However, all Central American countries, including Costa Rica, fell under the rule of the First Mexican Empire.  Costa Ricans that resided in the provinces of Alajuela and San José were furious by this decision while the residents in the capital city of Cartago and Heredia approved of the decision to be under the wing of the Mexican Empire.  Due to this disagreement between the provinces, a civil war broke out.  This war was short and the decision to remain independent that was supported by the residents in San José and Alajuela won. 

In 1824, under the rule of Juan Mora Fernandez, the capital was moved to San José.  In the early twentieth century, Costa Rica experienced two outbreaks of violence.  Although they were violent, they were less tragic than the history of their Central American counterparts. 

In 1948, there was a civil war led by José Figueres Ferrer which lasted for 44 days.  After winning the civil war, he abolished the Costa Rican army and this subsequently led to his popularity and the win for the democratic presidential election.  Currently, there is no army in Costa Rica and it is known as the Switzerland of the Americas. 

There are seven provinces in Costa Rica and the San José province is the most populated.   There are also over four million residents in San José city.  San José is also a destination of tourism as it has various museums including the National Museum, the Gold Museum and The Museum of Costa Rican Art.  Other popular tourist destinations in San José are the National Theatre and the Pueblo Antiguo which holds a theme park called the Parque de Diversiones de Costa Rica.

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