Ruinas de Ujarrás

Discover the Ruinas de Ujarrás in Costa Rica and the legendary story of the Virgen del Rescate

Ruinas de Ujarrás
Ruinas de Ujarrás
© Pontfire

The Ruinas de Ujarrás (Ujarrás Ruins) are located nearby the village of Paraíso, in the Cartago province, and they are the material remains of the first church built in Costa Rica in colonial times, which was devoted to the Nuestra Senora de Ujarrás.

Ruinas de Ujarrás, Costa Rica
Ruinas de Ujarrás, Costa Rica
© Pontfire

It is a place full of legendary stories. According to one of them, the construction of this church comes from the discovery by an indigenous fisherman of a statue of the Virgin in a wooden box floating on the current of the Pacuare river. In fact, historical data indicate that the temple was built between 1575 and 1580 to hold a statue of the Immaculate Conception, a gift of the Spanish monarch Philip II that has been popularly known as the Virgen del Rescate. This epithet refers to its miraculous intervention during the escape of the pirates that had invaded the village, led by Eduard Mansvelt and Henry Morgan.

Even though church was abandoned, the place has increased its picturesque features over time. Moreover, a beautiful garden has been built in its surroundings, making the place a bucolic space to rest and have a picnic.

Every year, on the nearest Sunday to April 14, a pilgrimage in honor of the Virgen del Rescate is celebrated. It starts with a 7 km pilgrimage that carries out the statue to its ancient settlement. After that, a mass is given, followed by a meal and a bustling party with live music in the gardens.

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6.7 km from Paraíso, Cartago province, Costa Rica.


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