This cathedral holds la Negrita, a small figure of a dark skinned Virgin Mary that miraculously reappeared on a rock on this site twice after being removed in 1635. In the past I have told the full story and showed photos of la Negrita and the church, including the area of a spring whose waters are regarded as having curative powers. That series of photos is accessible by clicking on the "Churches" index tab.
Cartago is in the Central Valleys region of Costa Rica, not far from San Jose. It was founded by Juan Vasquez de Coronado in 1563 and was Costa Rica's first capital, until 1823.
The church shown in this photo dates to 1929, replacing several earlier churches, dating to 1575, that were destroyed by earthquakes. The city was also heavily damaged in 1723 when nearby Irazu volcano erupted.
For scenes of a more traditional Christmas, please check out this week's photos on Viva la Voyage. We are showing photos of the Christmas holiday season in Vienna, Austria.