Iglesia de la Merced, Costa Rica

Visit one of San José’s most visited spots and one of the most iconic churches, the iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Merced

Iglesia de la Merced, Costa Rica
Iglesia de la Merced
© Anita GuzFer

The iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Merced is also known by the locals as just “Iglesia de la Merced”. It is one of the most visited places in San José due to its architectural and religious attraction.

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Iglesia de la Merced, San José
Iglesia de la Merced, San José
© Anita GuzFer

The building is a Catholic temple dedicated to the Virgen de las Mercedes and has a neo-Gothic architecture. It stands out the main tower that has a German Gothic style, with a wonderful view to Braulio Carrillo Park (La Merced Park), where it is located.

It was built in 1894 by the engineer Lesmes Jiménez Bonnefil and the architect Jaime Carranza. It was declared to be part of the historical and architectural heritage of Costa Rica in 1996 and it is one of the greatest icons of San José.

You can contemplate the vast nave with high columns and its fine main altar. It also has a statue of the virgin who gives the name to the church, and there you can contemplate one of the most appreciated and valuable images of the city: the Cristo Agonizante (the dying Christ). This image is a work by the artist Manuel María Zúñiga, that had to paint a nude portrait of himself in order to sculpt the figure of Christ. Besides, you can contemplate the paintings by the artist Adriano Arié and his three stained glass windows that depict the Virgin of Mercy.

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2nd and 4th Avenues and 10th and 12th Streets, in the Hospital District, San José.


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