Fortín de Heredia

Learn about the history of the Fortín de Heredia (Fort of Heredia), the most symbolic attraction of the city

Fortín de Heredia
Fortín de Heredia
© Esteban Cervantes Jiménez

Fortín de Heredia (Fort of Heredia) is located in Heredia’s downtown. It is a 13 meters high solid building that stands out from the rest of the city’s buildings. This military building that has never been used for military purposes has become Heredia’s most symbolic spot.

Fortín de Heredia, Costa Rica
Fortín de Heredia, Costa Rica
© Andrzej Plichta

Heredia’s Small Fort was originally the lookout tower of a military headquarters that was never finished. The small fort was commissioned in 1876 during president Tomás Guardia Gutiérrez’s rule, and the works were designed and directed by Fadrique Gutiérrez, local commander and governor of Heredia province. It seems that the original design was much more impressive: they had planned a four-tower building, but this idea was not completed due to the scarcity of economic resources.

The structure of the small fort was made of bricks and stones, and it has three different parts. The six meters high base is rectangular with a flat, oval-corner ledge. When it was built, this building had three entrance doors on its sides, but the one in the southern side is bricked up now. Over the door there are two rows of small windows, four in the upper and three in the lower one, all of them symmetrically placed. The function of these small windows was to serve as a hole through which temporarily put out cannons or weapons to fire with absolute certainty. But, surprisingly, these small windows are built backwards, with the widest part on the outside. It is not clear if this singularity is related to an unknown function or it was just a mistake. Apart from the base, the other two differentiated parts of the small fort are a 5-meter high cylinder that also has small windows and the smallest one which is 2 meters high and is separated by a double octogonal ledge.

Despite the logical deterioration of this building over the years, thanks to the successive restoration works, the appearance of this building is quite similar to the aspect that it had when it was first built.

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Avenida Central, Heredia, Heredia province, Costa Rica.


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