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History and Culture Heredia

Heredia is the capital city of the Heredia province and was founded in 1705. It is nicknamed the city of flowers, and whilst this is in actual fact nothing to do with the natural scenery in the area, but a wealthy family that once dominated the city, it is still undeniably a city within an area of wonderful gardens and flora in the midst of lush fields and coffee plantations.

Small Beginnings

Europeans settled in Heredia in the late 16th Century, naming it Cubujuqui, a Huetar (the tribes that inhabited the area prior to colonisation) Indian name. A Heredia Iglesia church was built and more and more people moved to the area. In 1736 it gained its own parish status and the new Iglesia de la Inmaculada was constructed. Following this, in 1751 the first school was built, supervised by Monseor Pedro Agustín Morel de Santa Cruz. It still stands to this day and is called Liceo de Heredia. In 1963 Fernandez de Heredia, later to become the President of Guatemala, obtained the title of Villa for Heredia and so they renamed it in his honour. Throughout the rest of the 18th Century the area experienced much development and immigration and at the turn of the 19th Century, political and social life in the area began to be dominated by the wealthy Flores family (hence the sometime nickname 'Ciudad de las Flores. Their family home is now the city's municipal Museum

When the colonies were liberated from Spain in 1821, Heredia along with Cartago sought to join Mexico's Government, whilst San José and Alajuela had more Republican ideas and wanted to remain independent. This resulted in a small war that ended in 1823 with the capital city status being rotated between the four cities. This was stopped a few years later when Braulio Carrillo, the then Head of State of Costa Rica negated the agreement.

Modern Day Heredia

The city has since grown from strength to strength, attracting many tourists who are visiting nearby San Jos with its magnificent greenery and scenery. It is said to be one of Costa Rica's safest cities and there is no doubt that you could start to feel very at home in the midst of this pretty settlement, with aesthetically pleasing colonial architecture and friendly locals all gathered around the welcoming central plaza.

If you are thinking about studying Spanish in Costa Rica, but are unsure about the bustling hive of activity that is San José, then Heredia could be the perfect place for you to start looking for a Spanish language school.