Where Gumbo Was #522
Gumbo was visiting the main cathedral in Costa Rica's capital, the Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitano). Congratulations to George G and Roderick Simpson, who recognized where Gumbo was.
(front view of the Metropolitan Cathedral)
The cathedral is located in the city's downtown, just across the street from Central Park and only two blocks from the beautiful National Theater. An original church was built on this site in 1802, but that one was destroyed in an earthquake. This cathedral was completed in 1871. It has needed earthquake repairs and some upgrades over the years but retains its charm.
The church has a fairly plain neoclassical facade, including two bell towers and a clock tower. Doric pillars supporting an overhang covering the front portico.
The interior of the church is pretty, with a long nave and lovely altar. The arched ceiling of the nave is supported by classic columns that run the length of the church.
(detail from the cupola above the altar)
The altar of the Cathedral is covered with a cupola. Windows around the base of the cupola and the nearby dome allow natural sunlight to brighten the altar area during the day. There is a mural in the cupola depicting the Holy Trinity.
(dome of the Metropolitan Cathedral)
The church is known for its “flying pulpit”, which is attached to one of the columns. The cover of the pulpit shows a flying dove -- symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Priests access it by using the winding staircase at its base. The pulpit was crafted of Costa Rican hardwood by a Guatemalan carver.
There are colonial-style tiled floors that run the length of the building, which I found quite attractive....
There are many interesting stained-glass windows depicting biblical and religious scenes, beautifully detailed, which were created in France...
The following window depicts the Archangel Michael defeating Satan....
Assorted sculptures around the cathedral's interior are biblical themed, including several life-size depictions of Jesus. A few of these follow:
Outside the church is a small garden which features a large marble statue of Pope Juan Paul (John Paul) II. It was carved by Costa Rican sculptor Jorge Jiménez Deredia and is made of Carrara marble. The pope carving stands 12 feet high and weights 25 tons. The statue commemorates the 1983 visit of Pope John Paul II to this very cathedral, where he held a mass. It is one of the proudest moments in the church's history. As you can see, it is quite beautifully done!
Admission to the cathedral is free, and visitors are welcome. Be respectful, especially if a mass is being held. We aren't Catholics, but my wife and I enjoyed visiting this church.