San José is the capital of the Republic of Costa Rica and the head of the province of the same name. Located in the Centre of the country, specifically on the Central Valley, San José is the most important of the Costa Rican territory political, economic and social Center, as well as the main knot for transport and telecommunications. Culturally can be considered almost in its entirety with European influence given to him by the Spanish from its discovery by Christopher Columbus immigration, influence also the Creoles imported from France and Belgium, where usually studied the privileged class of the country in the 19th century and early 20th century. This can be seen in the distribution of the city that grew around the Cathedral and later in the architecture of theatres, museums and houses of the inhabitants of the city centre. The city is named in honor of Joseph of Nazareth.
As well as the cantons Deans in the country, the central canton of San José was founded on 7 December of 1848. The population was around 1737-1738, and has been capital of Costa Rica on three occasions: in 1822, from 1823 to 1834 and from 1838 to the present day. It is a city with an interesting mix of history and modernity. The central area does not have much population, since it is a commercial area. It is the most important place as Costa Rican labor supply, which brings together during the day more than one million people. Despite some problems, like abandoned lots, buildings in disrepair, graffiti and dangerous areas, according to some studies in the field of all Latin America, San José is still one of the safest cities and less violent Latin American throughout the region. In the year 2006 was designated the Ibero-American Capital of culture.
The territory that today occupies San Jose is formed by a land fertile and plain with mild undulations, surrounded by mountains, is located between the rivers towers, Virilla, to the North, and Maria Aguilar, South.5 The city is located in the centre of the so-called Central Valley at an average altitude of 1,300 meters above sea level, without large altitude variations.
The city is crossed by several rivers, from East to West, the most important being the Río Virilla, which drains most of waters of the Central Valley and belongs to the basin of the Río Grande de Tárcoles, which flows into the Slope of the Pacific. Many of the waters of these rivers are used for hydroelectric development.
Although the city is located in a tropical area, altitude softens the effects of tropical climate. Temperatures are relatively benign, between 12 and 28 ° C, while in the summer months they are often hot because they easily reach the 31 ° C, the minimum can reach 10; ° C, and register Frost in areas of high altitude. The rainy season, as well as the rest of the country, going from May to November and rainfall accumulated over the year are around 2.000 mm.
According to the census from 1815, San Jose had about 11,500 inhabitants. For the time of the separation of Costa Rica from Spain (1821) surpassed in population and resources to the city of Carthage, which had been the capital since the 16th century. This development was accelerated by the rise of coffee plantations in their surroundings in the decades of 1820 and 1830.
Throughout the 19th century manifested signs of urban planning, with the Spanish grid system and the Foundation of various temples, as la Merced in Central, El Carmen North, and much later, the Soledad to the East. In 1843 the then General Minister José María Castro Madriz, signed the decree that opened the University of St. Thomas, the first centre of higher education in the country and predecessor of the current University of Costa Rica.
With the Government of Juan Rafael Mora Porras, mid-19th century, the city took a new urban air, since the avenues widened and opted for a modern architecture in the city. Theatres, banks, hotels and Government buildings, were founded as well as the main, public lighting, tram services were established 6 and telegraph. On August 9 , 1884 was put into operation a hydroelectric power plant in the Aranjuez neighborhood, which could light up 25 lamps in the centre of San Jose; so it was the third city to be lit with electric power in the world and the first in Latin America, only surpassed by New York City and Paris.
At the beginning of the 20th century the josefino central town was very attractive to the trade, which grew excessively and began the emigration from the centre of the city toward the gentler surroundings. In the administration of Cleto González Víquez salubrious conditions and the paving of streets are improved.
San Jose has a completely urban population, by 2014 live in San Jose people of all ethnic groups and all their possible mixtures. Descendants of whites, mestizos, blacks, mulattoes, immigrants, Latin Americans, etc. The central San José canton currently has 288.054 inhabitants,7 and the female population represents 54% of the total. However, the San José metropolitan area extends beyond the limits of cantonal, forming the Greater Metropolitan Area, which includes San Jose, the conurbation of Alajuela (254.886 inhab.), Cartago (147.898 inhab.), Heredia (123.616 inhab.) and other cities in the province of San José, Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago. The entire population of the Greater Metropolitan Area makes up 60% of the net population of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica and mainly the city of San Jose, are going through a constant process of modernization and upgrade infrastructure, in addition to important programs of redevelopment in the city centre. West of San José is living an important boom vertical constructions, in areas such as: Rohrmoser, kettles and the surroundings of the La Sabana Metropolitan Park. At the end of 2011 started important constructions in these areas, including the Paseo Colón towers, two towers of 29 and 31 floors and 113 meters high.
In the center of the city is the building of the National Bank of Costa Rica, was the tallest habitable building in the country until 2011 (surpassed by the towers, Paseo Colón), with 82 meters and 22 floors, roof and the heliport, the building of the National Bank is one of the most emblematic of the city of San Jose.