Metropolitan Cathedral

The City’s Sacred Temple

Aerial photo of the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Jose, Costa Rica.
San Jose’s Metropolitan Cathedral from the air.

Our free walking tour of the city of San Jose will respectfully enter the Metropolitan Cathedral for a visit inside. The Metropolitan Cathedral is the main church in San Jose Costa Rica. This Catholic cathedral stands superbly with neoclassical posture overlooking Central Park and the crowded streets and avenues of the capital city.

The Metropolitan Cathedral’s current neoclassical design dates back to 1878. Its trademark elements are the dome, the columns, the pulpit, vaults, and the bell towers. Inside worshipers and visitors will find a tabernacle, a crypt, confessionals, a pipe organ, and 42 beautiful relic stained glass windows.

Dome and vaults inside San Jose Costa Rica's Metropolitan Cathedral.
Dome and vaults inside the Metropolitan Cathedral.

The first catholic church ever built on this location was in 1827. That original church was made out of adobe walls holding up a clay tiled roof. Since its humble beginnings, the Metropolitan Cathedral has been rebuilt, restored, and redesigned many times; mainly due to devastating earthquakes. In fact, after every significant earthquake felt in San Jose, the stained glass windows are always subject to inspection by distressed worshipers and citizens.

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The last earthquakes felt during the early 1990s rocked the Metropolitan Church’s foundations and led to the destruction and replacement of its bell towers. But it was not the first time this occurred to the Cathedral. The cathedral has had many many repairs throughout its lifespan.

Stained glass window inside the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Jose Costa Rica.
Archangel stained glass window inside the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Today, San Jose Costa Rica’s main catholic temple offers a peaceful place of worship in the middle of the bustling city. Adjacent and connected to the Cathedral is a gorgeous little side chapel that may or may not have to be kept locked since it seems to fill up every time it is open. This little chapel, with its majestically adorned walls, is known as the Sagrario Tabernacle.