Enjoy Juan Santamaria Museum

By BobbyRica | December 11, 2009

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It’s not such a bad thing to enjoy the night time thrills all over exotic Costa Rica. However, after a night of revelry, you might want to see the other side of this country. The other side that is rich in history and culture. The side that gives you a certain point of view of how Costa Rica has evolved. And for you to get an inkling of what I’m talking about, visiting the Juan Santamaria Museum located in Alajuela would answer most of your questions.

As mentioned in my previous entry, Alajuela is the proud town of the Juan Santamaria, the national hero of Costa Rica. His story is an interesting one because he was merely a drummer boy. He served for the army that revolted against American William Walker and his attempt to conquer Central America. The Costa Rican army was not able to successfully drive away the invaders but had a golden opportunity when Walker and his men settled at a hostel close to the town circle during their battle. The plan of the army was to set the hostel on fire by having someone run across the battlefield with a torch in hand. After many costly attempts, Santamaria finally volunteered. He managed to advance towards the hostel, set it on fire, drove the invaders out and flushed the enemy out in the process. Although Santamaria was shot while running across the field, his courage and determination became an inspiration to everyone and had endured to become a revered figure in the country.

Now, that you know the story behind the figure. Big deal! He’s another version of Paul Rever. But what makes the place named after him so special?

Aside for sentimental and historical purposes, the Juan Santamaria Museum has an exquisite butterfly and orchid collection that is definitive of the natural beauties found in Costa Rica. There is also a balanced display of arts and craft to pique the interests of artists and historians alike. Even for those who have no inclinations towards arts or history should find the museum a pleasant visit, just for the sake of getting acquainted with Santamaria’s story.

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