Volcán Irazú y Cartago

Overlooking the rim at Volcán Irazú

Overlooking the rim at Volcán Irazú

On Tuesday of this week we visited a nearby volcano called Irazú.  It is outside the city of Cartago which is very close to San Jose with local buses going there many times a day.  Cartago was the initial capital of Costa Rica, and for many years was the only city of size within the country.  However, because the volcano is active, its eruptions kept causing problems for the city, and eventually the capital was moved to San Jose.  The last time Irazú erupted was the day John F. Kennedy arrived to Costa Rica for a visit.  The volcano is over 11,000 feet in elevation, and it is reported that on clear days you can see both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.  We were all impressed with the view, the clear blue sky, and the volcanic ash that looked like a desert near the rim.

A view of the crater

A view of the crater.  I got this photo off of wikipedia.  I wish I could take pictures this well.

The clouds were just below us on the other side of the volcanos rim.

The clouds were just below us on the other side of the volcanos rim.

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Annie and Sarah posing near the rim

Annie and Sarah posing near the rim

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Peter shows what he would feel like if this was a real desert

Peter shows what he would feel like if this was a real desert

It was cold on the rim.  Nobody except Allison was prepared.

It was cold on the rim. Nobody except Allison was prepared.

Peter, Will, David

Peter, Will, David

Sarah, Will, Annie

Sarah, Will, Annie

Peter walking purposefullyPeter walking purposefully

On our way back from Volcán Irazú we stopped in Cartago to visit the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Ángeles.  This church holds a black madonna statue called La Negrita or Reina de Cartago.  From Wikipedia:

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Angels is consecrated to the Virgin of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles, a small representation of the Virgin Mary carrying the infant Jesus, said to have been discovered by a peasant girl in Cartago. The story goes that the little girl found the small statue on a rock and took it home. The next morning she found that the statue was not there but back at the rock, so she took it to the priest and he locked it in a small box. The next morning the statue was back at the rock. During the construction, the church was destroyed by earthquakes so many times, it was finally decided to move it to the location where the statue was found and they were able to finish construction. Many people (one being Andrea Meszaros, a local expert on religious affairs) think that the earthquakes were signs that the Lady of Los Ángeles wanted the basilica built there.

There are also ruins of a of the Santiago Apóstol Parish that was intended to be built in Cartago.  Multiple churches have been built on this site, but eventually after all were destroyed or partially destroyed by earthquakes, attempts to build on the site stopped.  Follow the link above to read about the construction and legends surrounding these ruins.

The Basilica of our Lady of the Angels in Cartago

The Basilica of our Lady of the Angels in Cartago

Inside the cathedral

Inside the cathedral

The ruins of the church in Cartago

The ruins of the church in Cartago

Inside the ruins

Inside the ruins

2 thoughts on “Volcán Irazú y Cartago

  1. So interesting! Thanks for introducing me to CR through your adventures. The posts are so great – thank you for taking your precious time to do this. As my grandmother would say when I would describe my new place or send pictures, “Now I know how to think about you.” Happy Easter!

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    • Barb, thanks so much for the kind comment. We feel more like we are having misadventures in comparison to adventures. However, we recognize daily how unique (and challenging) our daily experiences are, I wonder how unusual our kids recognize them to be or whether they just take them in stride as normal. Thank you for remembering us and praying for us. We have had so many challenges lately, and it has been reassuring to know people remember are with us in this work.

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