San Jose (Costa Rica)
The city that is known today as San José came into being as a small town around the middle of the XVI century. This area was known as the Aserrí Valley and was comprised of extensive grasslands with an altitude measuring between 3,600 and 4,100 ft. The main waterways are the Tiribí, Torres, María Aguilar and Ocloro rivers. A chapel that was built in 1737 on the site known as ¨La Boca del Monte,¨ marked the emergence of the town. In 1738, it was consecrated and dedicated to the Patriarch Saint Joseph. In 1776, a new adobe style church was constructed, which over time became known as the Metropolitan Cathedral. In 1783, according to a census at that time, Boca del Monte was home to 4,869 inhabitants: 577 Spaniards; 3,664 Mestizos, and 628 Mulattos, located in the city, neighborhoods, and surrounding towns. Tobacco Farming began in the outskirts of San José in the second half of the XVII century, which generated revenue and led to economic development and strengthening of San José´s political role within the province. In 1813, Costa Rica´s representative in the Court of Cádiz, the FatherFlorencio del Castillo, oversaw and obtained the title of ¨City¨ for San José. On September 15th, 1821, Costa Rica gained independence from Spain, which created a power struggle over which should be the capital among the four main cities of the Central Valley: San José, Alajuela, Heredia, and Cartago. This tense situation led to two armed confrontations: the Ochomongo War of 1823 and the La Liga War of 1835. In the end, San José was declared the capital of the republic. The construction boom was due in large part to well-known competing foreign architects, such as Franz Kurtze, Ludwing von Shamier, and Franz Rohrmoser, who were responsible for the most important construction project of the era.