Still in use, the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica (National Theatre of Costa Rica) is the gem of the capital city, San Jose. In the 19th Century to fund its construction, the government placed a tax on its coffee exports. Italian Engineer Nicolás Chavarría designed it to withstand earthquakes which are quite common in Costa Rica. It took 7 years of construction and it was finally completed in 1897.
Designed in Neoclassical style, this theatre is small but filled with ornate furnishings and décor. “The front of the theatre showcases statues of Calderón de la Barca and Ludwig van Beethoven while the inside’s ceiling is adorned by the Allegory of Coffee and Bananas by Milanese artist Aleardo Villa–paying tribute to the coffee growers who pioneered the construction.” After walking through this quaint but stunning theatre, I also recommend stopping by the Theatre’s café, drink espresso and enjoy some postre (dessert in Spanish).