Cartago Tourist Attractions
Founded in 1563, this city is the capital of the Cartago province. Cartago was Costa Rica's national capital for 300 years until 1823.
The city lies 1,435m/4,707ft above sea level in the valley between the Cordillera Central and the Cordillera de Talamanca.Cartago is thought to be the birthplace of Costa Rican culture, however unfortunate earthquakes in 1823 and 1910 destroyed most of the historic buildings. Today, Cartago is Costa Rica's third-largest urban area with a population of 120,000.The Spanish settled in Cartago when moving inland to escape English pirates who were raiding the tropical coast. Their Meskito allies, who were escaped slaves intermarried with local Natives, accompanied the Spanish. Cartago's early conditions were very tenuous.Cartago became known as a "Moving City", as time and again the settlers were forced to load the town onto their backs and resettle in a new location in order to escape erupting volcanoes. By the 18th C the city had settled in its present location.
Our Lady of the Angels Basilica
These ruins are of an uncompleted church that was destroyed in the 1910 earthquake. A garden is now found inside of the remaining solid walls. Las Ruinas is a major landmark in downtown Cartago and a good place to watch the comings and goings of locals.
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