CARTAGO, COSTA RICA: ST. JAMES THE APOSTLE PARISH RUINS (Ruinas de la Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol)

These ruins are a cultural heritage site. Technically, the site can’t be called “ruins,” because it was never actually completed. Here’s why (and this is a crazy amount of earthquakes): 

1575 – several churches have existed on this site since this time

1630 – first building destroyed by an earthquake

1656 – demolished

1662 – consecration of a new building

1718 – heavily damaged by another earthquake

1756 – another earthquake damaged the church

1841 – finally destroyed on September 2, 1841 by the San Antolin earthquake

1870 – the last attempt to rebuild the church was started; built in Romanesque style (only one in Costa Rica) 

  • construction was halted for 30 years 

1903-1904 – restarted again

1910 – construction finally halted for good after the Santa Monica earthquake

Today, it’s a beautiful park.


Ghost Story:

According to a popular legend, there were two brothers who lived in Cartago. One of them was a single, nice guy and the other was a priest. A rivalry arose between them as they both fell in love with the same woman. She chose and married the single, nice guy. The priest was infuriated, and did everything he could to destroy his brother. Then, in 1577 during the New Year’s mass, he saw his brother in the church and killed him with a knife. In penance for his mortal sin he built a church for the city, but one year after, an earthquake destroyed it. Each time it was rebuilt, another new earthquake destroyed it, until 1910 when it was canceled and thought to be a cursed site. It is also said that on foggy nights, it’s possible to see the priest, headless, inside the ruins, wandering for eternity as his penance for desecrating a holy site. (wiki)

30mar19. Cartago, Costa Rica.

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