[schema type=”person” name=”National Theatre of Costa Rica ” orgname=”http://costaricaspecialdeals.com/” url=”http://costaricaspecialdeals.com/national-theatre-of-costa-rica-draws-tourists-from-around-the-world/” description=”In the heart of San Jose, Costa Rica, the National Theatre (Teatro Nacional) remains one of the capital city’s most popular tourist attractions.” country=”CR” ]In the heart of San Jose, Costa Rica, the National Theatre (Teatro Nacional) remains one of the capital city’s most popular tourist attractions.
The ornate Neo-Classical theatre is considered the finest historic building in San Jose, and is known for its exquisite interior decorated with lavish furnishings and beautiful murals.
One of the theatre’s main ceiling murals, in fact, was just named one of “10 great ceilings around the world,” according to an article in USA Today. The famous painting is entitled the “Allegory of Coffee and Bananas” (Alegoría al Café y al Banano) by Italian artist J. Vila, and used to grace the back of the five colón bill that is no longer in circulation. The gigantic work captures the essence of Costa Rican rural life at the turn of the 20th century, but given that the painter had never visited Costa Rica, the mural has its anomalies. For instance, coffee grows at high elevation rather than at sea level as the painting depicts, and there is a man holding a bunch of bananas like a large floral bouquet instead of over his shoulder as would be traditional.
The National Theatre was constructed between 1891 and 1897, opening in October 1897. Copied after the famous Paris Opera House, the theatre was built at a time when upper-class Costa Ricans wanted to transform the capital from a sleepy town of 17,000 people into a stop on the world opera circuit. Costa Rican citizens helped pay for the theatre by a special tax.
The front of the theatre features statues of 17th century Spanish playwright Pedro Calderón de la Barca and famous German composer Ludwig van Beethoven. The vestibule floor is laid with Carrara marble along with bronze trim and ample use of 22.5 carat gold overlay. Italian sculptor Pietro Bulgarelli’s statues of the muses adorn the lobby. A stunning inlaid wood floor of tropical woods in red, pink, black and gold graces the second floor. The chandelier’s bases were painted to represent the different moments of the day: you can find sunrise, noon and night. There is a wonderful café, gallery and gift shop on the ground floor.
Excellent acoustics and the theatre’s intimate feel draw performers and spectators from around the world. The National Theatre presents high quality performances by orchestras, operas, ballet and other dramatic and musical performances.
Tourists can step in during the day and take a self-guided tour through the theatre. There often are free musical programs at Noon, and on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m. For more information on the National Theatre, call (506) 2221-5341.
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