In the center of San Jose, in front of the Parque Espana, stands the Yellow House, or Casa Amarilla, that you will have noticed because it is bright yellow and impossible to miss!
This elegant property, as it surely was before it became bright yellow, never served as a private residence; it used to house the Corte de Justicia Centroamericana in the 1900, under the guidance of Andrew Carnegie. Originally known as the Palace of Peace of Central America, it soon became known as the Yellow House due to its exterior color.
A Central American court could never exist and so it became the presidential house in 1920, then the foreign ministry and the site of the legislature. The government has used now and again as its main office when theirs had suffered damages due to earthquakes.
In 1963, it got a face lift, and made even more elegant and in 1976 it was declared a National Monument.
It may be absolutely impossible not to notice of the yellow house while walking in San Jose, however very few have seen the interior of Casa Amarilla. Those interested have the opportunity can do just that; this Saturday, as part of the Enamorate de la Ciudad program (Fall in love with the city), the Casa Amarilla, home of the Foreign Ministry, presents a guided tour of the residence. Most of the action of the day will take part across from the house in Parque Espana, with yoga, music, face painting, food and more. Organised by the Ministry of Culture and Youth, this is part of the celebration that marks the end of the summer as May usually means that the beginning of the rainy season has arrived. The guided tours will also include the Jade Museum with its pre-colombian potteries and gold, and the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design.
The Parque Morazan will also take part in the Festivities in the Templo de Musica, starting at 11am. The program features the Orquestra del Sistema Nacional de la Musica de Desamparados, and the Banda de Conciertos de Heredia. Next will perform the Circo Fantastico, the flamboyant Ballet Folclorico de Nayuribe, breakdancing and the Ensamble Cultural of the Caja.
Near Parque de la Paz there will be urban sports, followed by the local hip-hop raock and pop band Los Govinda.
As a grand final, an awesome percussion session where everyone is invited to join in, providing they bring their own instruments.
The falling in love with the city theme is another well needed effort to promote the city of San Jose. While the surroundings of the Yellow house, including Barrio Amon, Arranjuez and Ottoya are so beautiful, the rest of the city has little to offer as far as architectural interest is concerned. Some “barrios”are indeed nothing to be proud of, seemingly abandoned, dirty and seedy. There is much to be done, yet, to improve San Jose! Over the years, we have seen some improvement; the Avenida Central that is now a pedestrian street only. The Plaza de la Cultura was remodeled a few years ago. There is still so much work to be done. The safety of the town also plays a big part, as today, many tourists avoid the city for fear of being robbed, and the police is scarce!
Tomorrow however promises to be a fun and interesting day, and a glimpse at the interior of the Casa Amarilla is sure to bring a good crowd!
Filed under: Travel on April 29th, 2011 | No Comments »