1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/San José de Costa Rica

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SAN JOSÉ, or San José de Costa Rica, the capital of the republic of Costa Rica, and of the department of San José; in the central plateau of the country, 3868 ft. above sea-level, and on the transcontinental railway from the Pacific port of Puntarenas to the Atlantic port of Limón. Pop. (1908) about 26, 500. San José is an episcopal see, the most populous city in Costa Rica, and the centre of a rich agricultural region; its climate is temperate, its water-supply pure and abundant. The city was founded in 1738, and became the capital in 1823 (see Costa Rica: History). It is thoroughly modern in appearance, with macadamized streets lighted by electricity; its houses are one-storeyed so as to minimize the danger from earthquake. The suburbs consist chiefly of cane huts, tenanted by Indians and half-castes. The larger of two public gardens, the Morazan Park, contains a representative collection of the Costa Rican flora. The principal buildings are the cathedral, founded in the 18th century but restored after 1870, the hospital, government offices, institutes of law and medicine and of physical geography, training school for teachers, national bank, museum, library and barracks. The staple trade of San José is in coffee.