Visit the Historical Museum of Dr. Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia

Calderon Guardia National Museum, in San Jose
Calderon Guardia National Museum, in San Jose

Although many travelers head to Costa Rica to enjoy its pristine white sand beaches and sparkling blue water, the country also has a rich culture and history. A visit to this country must include a moment to cherish all that it has to offer, especially the San Jose culture. You want to be sure to spend a moment learning some of the rich Costa Rica history featured in museums like the historical museum of Dr. Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia, located in San Jose.

Dr. Calderon

From 1940 to 1944, Dr. Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia was president of the Republic of Costa Rica. During his tenure, many of the great social reforms occurred. He helped found the University of Costa Rica in 1940. As part of his social reform, he also enacted the first Labor Code in Costa Rica history. Many consider him to be the faster of Costa Rica’s social security system as well. With his government and vision, Dr. Calderon developed the foundation for the country’s lingering values of peace and social justice.

The Museum

Located in a former residence of Dr. Calderon, the Historical Museum of Dr. Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia was founded to preserve and recover items of value from his life. As you walk through the museum, you will see artifacts from various times in his life, including during his tenure as president. In addition to items directly related to the man and his work, there are also temporary art exhibits that further highlight important aspects of Costa Rica culture and history. The art gallery features a variety of art mediums, including paintings, photography, etchings, sculptures and installations.

Scholars can visit the library to learn more about the life and accomplishments of the man and the history of the country focused on his reign as president. The library also features important documents on social reform and other pivotal historical moments in Costa Rica. There is also an auditorium used for conferences, workshops and more.

The Mission of the Museum

The museum aims to demonstrate the historical significance of Dr. Calderon’s presidency. It also wishes to continue to contribute to the country’s cultural heritage. In addition to housing the museum, the house is also a national heritage site. It is considered one of the best-preserved buildings in Costa Rica by the Center for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage.

Planning Your Trip

The museum is located in San Jose. The 800-square meter French adobe building, built in a neoclassical style, was originally built in 1912. Dr. Calderon bought the property in 1942, and it was here he lived during many of the years he served as president. The museum hours are Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Most people spend about an hour going through the museum.

Nearby Attractions

San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica. As a thriving metropolitan city, it is a great location to see some of the best examples of Costa Rica culture and history beyond the Museum of Dr. Rafael Angel Calderon Guardia. You can simply walk the streets and marvel at the beautiful architecture. There are also several art galleries and museums if you wish to have a cultural day. You will have plenty of options for restaurants as well. If you want to have a break in some green spaces, then visit one of the many beautiful parks in the city. Thanks to the central location of San Jose, it is easy to go out and explore the rest of the country, including some of the best surfing beaches around.

Although he only served as president for four years, Dr. Calderon had a major impact on Costa Rica. Spending some time at his museum provides insight into the rich history and culture of this beautiful nation.