Visual Arts and Costa Rican History
Our free walking tour of San Jose usually starts at the Costa Rica Art museum. The museum’s collection includes more than 6000 works of art dating as far back as the mid-XIX century. There’s also a sculpture garden in the back and the impressive Golden Room upstairs.
The Costa Rica Art Museum is the entity in charge of preserving, salvaging, promoting and encouraging Costa Rica’s visual arts. It does so through diverse exhibitions and education projects.
The former International Airport in La Sabana became the Costa Rican Art Museum by decree in 1977.
This museum is housed in a beautiful and historic building. Such is the beauty of its neo-colonial architecture, it was declared Historical and Architectural Patrimony in 1986.
The Golden Room at the Costa Rica Art Museum
Sculptures and paintings will nourish your artistic cravings inside and outside the Costa Rica Art Museum. But its a room upstairs with precious hardwood floors that’s considered the astonishing masterpiece of the museum. This room is known as the Golden Room.
The Golden Room is a 150 square meter mural made up of exquisitely crafted stucco illustrating Costa Rica’s history in chronological order along its four walls. Each wall an era, beginning with the pre-Columbian era. The second wall moving forward represents the discovery and conquest of Costa Rica by the Europeans. The third wall illustrates colonization; the mural comes full circle with the fourth wall dedicated to the Republic and the construction of the room itself in 1940.
In front of this art museum, which was once the main international airport, stands a bronze statue honoring the memory of Leon Cortes. Mr. Cortes was the Nation’s president from 1936 to 1940 and the one responsible for building the old airport. The Monument to Leon Cortes honors this man’s vision of creating the beautiful and important public infrastructure that we still enjoy in Costa Rica. From here on out our free walking tour will visit La Sabana Park before we march on to downtown San Jose, Costa Rica.