Parque Juan Santamaría Park, Alajuela

Visit the peaceful Parque Juan Santamaría and admire the lush nature of Alajuela in first person

Parque Juan Santamaría Park, Alajuela
Parque Juan Santamaría Park
© steban Cervantes Jiménez

The Parque Juan Santamaria of Alajuela (Juan Santamaría Park) is renowned for housing the sculpture set that honours the national hero that was born in the city. It is a surprisingly realist bronze statue that portrays the moment when the soldier is about to burn the war fortress where the enemy was fortified with a torch aloft. William Walker’s freebooters did not expect that fire, so they run away. Their escape made Costa Rica won the war.

The figure is over a pedestal and flanked by cannons. The sculpture was made by the French sculptor Aristide Croisy. It symbolises the defense of the freedom and the independence of the country.

Two episodes from the history of the national hero are narrated on the attached bas-relieves, made by Gustave Deloy. One of them portrays Juan Santamaría at the very moment when he volunteered to light up the war fortress, while the other one reproduces the fire and his death. The sculpture’s pedestal is surrounded by plants with a symbolic meaning: palms, oaks and laurels that represent the hero’s glory, whilst the lion-shaped masks represent the strength and the national sovereignty. The sculpture has on it a plate with a text that reads:

Juan Santamaría, April 11th, 1856. Monument built by the government as demanded by the people, dedicated to the hero that died fighting the freebooters for the nation’s freedom at the Rivas Battle".

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On the corner between Avenida Alfaro Ruíz and Calle Obispo Tristán, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

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