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Built in 1890, of the purest classical style Renaissance architecture, with marble brought from Italy and decorated with bucolic scenes from coffee harvesting, the National Theater is the highest cultural forum in Costa Rica, located in the heart of the capital. The building model is from the famous Opera in Paris. It was opened in 1897 with the performance of “Faust.” Through it’s scenery it has seen most of the major theater companies who have visited Latin America, and renowned artists and classical music orchestras.
According to history, the theater was built thanks to the lyrical singer Adelina Patti, who refused to perform in San José for the lack of a proper theater, as due to a series of earthquakes that struck the country in 1888 and ended with the Municipal Theater.
The construction of a new theater to the people appears as a choice of entertainment for youth and at the same time, a temple of learning. Consequently, the Government tried to reopen the Municipal Theater, which was impossible for security reasons, and had the project postponed for a year and a half more. To achieve the financing for the construction, several measures were taken, either through the lottery, voluntary contribution and the contribution of the State. It was not until the dismayed coffee producers, decided to begin building a European-style theater. Created a cultural special tax for each bag of coffee exported in order to finance the cost of construction, and well, seven years of hard work later, the theater was completed. The National Theater opening attracted the Costa Rican society in dress suit.
A century after constructed, careful care is still taken, to complete this job it has a national workshop of masons, some of them direct descendants of those involved in its construction. Being a legitimate pride in Costa Rica, it has been supplemented by the “Plaza de la Cultura”, annexed, with art exhibition galleries, cultural conferences, of wide and modern design, particularly in contrast with the classic modernist style of the National Theater .
Address: 2nd Av., between 3rd and 5th St., district: Catedral, canton: San Jose, province: San Jose, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 10104.
GPS Coordinates: 9.932914,-84.077389 (9°55’58.49″N, 84°4’38.60″W)
Office +506 2221-5341
Tourism +506 2221-1329 ext. 217
Administration +506 2221-1329 ext. 217
Foundation +506 2222-5716 and +506 2221-1329 ext. 234
Coffee +506 2221-1329 ext. 250
WebMaster +506 2221-1329 ext. 231
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.