Sunday, April 12, 2009

San Jose Cemetery

This is what I think is an unusual aerial photo of a crowded cemetery in San Jose, Costa Rica's capital and only major city. I invite you to click on the photo to enlarge it, and you will see that it is indeed a jam packed collection of above-ground tombs and gravestones.

I took this photo from the small plane that we flew from Tortuguero to San Jose, which I showed yesterday. My photo tomorrow will continue the air travel across the country from the Caribbean coast to the local airport in Tamarindo on the Pacific coast.

My wife and I sometimes visit cemeteries when we travel. They are a window into local culture. The monuments are art.

Do you have a favorite cemetery? Ours is the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires. No other cemetery comes close. It is a city of sculpture. It most famous occupant, Eva Peron, has one of the more modest family mausoleums.

San Jose has a metropolitan area of more than 2 million, which is approximately half of the population of the entire country. The next largest city in Costa Rica is only about 100,000. While tourism is the number one industry in the country, San Jose is not a major tourist destination. After all, ecotourism and beaches are the attraction for visiting Costa Rica. Many tourists fly into the airport in San Jose and head to the surrounding central valleys, or north to Monteverde or Arenal, or over to the Pacific Coast, which is the most popular tourist destination.

The greater San Jose area is a popular location for retirees from the USA and Canada because it has a wonderful climate all year because its elevation. San Jose has attracted major investments by U.S. computer companies who have located manufacturing facilities there due to the lower cost of operations and the availability of a well-educated, skilled workforce. Some people refer to it as the "silicon jungle."

8 comments:

brattcat said...

Very interesting post. We have a remarkable cemetery in Rutland, Vermont. Long ago, many stone carvers from Italy immigrated to that area for work. The grave stones are extraordinary pieces of art. Perhaps I should make a field trip up there and photograph some to show you.

Jilly said...

amazing to see all those graves from the air. I have to say my favourite is Menton although I do have a soft spot for Highgate Cemetery in London.

I left an answer re the Tour de France on MC, Dave.

Sharon said...

I wouldn't have guessed that was a cemetary at first glance. Very interesting.

I have to say my favorite is also Recoleta in Buenos Aires. It is a facinating place. However, before I visited Argentina, Highgate cemetary in London was my favorite. It's a sort of magical place with huge trees and shrubs and lots of moss covering the stone monuments.

Marie said...

Oh la la I looked at your previous posts. I would have been scared. Your photos are amazing! This is a big cemetery!

Jarart said...

At first glance, it didn't look like a cemtery but after examining the larger photo it became clear that it was. One day last month we walked the old Citizens Cemetery in Prescott and photographed some of the older and more elabrate monuments. It made for a quiet and reflective afternoon.

Andrea said...

I love the Recoleta Cementerio!!!!!!

JM said...

This is an amazing shot! The 1st time I see it.

Kate said...

I've seen a number of above-ground cemeteries in my travels, but none quite like this one! I enjoyed Pere Lachaise in Paris but my favorite has to be one in Israel, only because I was able to place a stone on the grave of Oskar Shindler.

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