Architecture of Costa Rica
The earliest architecture from Costa Rica was made of
wood and has not lasted to the present day, although along the coasts some people
still build wooden stilt houses. The region is fairly mountainous, volcanic, and
bordered by water so the indigenous people lived there in small numbers. Of the
few people that lived here, their houses and other structures have rarely lasted
over time. Only the archeological sight of Guayabo, which is only home to stone
foundations, has survived.
With the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s the Spanish architecture
was introduced the region and numerous Spanish-styled buildings were built, most
noticeably in the regions of Liberia, Heredia, and the towns of Cartago and Barva.
The Spanish buildings varied; many churches were built in
the styles popular in Europe and Spain when they were built, leaving a strong legacy
of Baroque influenced buildings in Central America. This is best seen in the Basilica
of Nuestra Senora de los Angeles. The houses though were fairly different in style
as they more closely matched Spanish or Mediterranean houses. These are best seen
in Barva, which is littered with 1600s and 1700s Spanish houses.