Heredia is a city located in the Heredia province of Costa Rica and is the capital of that province. It is presently undergoing a rapid course of industrialization and is located 10 kilometers north of the country’s capital, San José, Costa Rica.
Before its founding, the area round Heredia was inhabited by the a native tribe known as the Huetares, who were commanded at the coming of the Spanish by the Cacique Garabito.
In 1706 settlers from Cartago, set up a small church at a place they called “Alvirilla”, which soon became more inhabited. Between 1716 and 1717 the settlers moved their village to the north, to an area the Indians called Cubujuquí. In 1736 Heredia was deemed satisfactorily large enough to be granted its own parish, and the first incarnation of the Iglesia de la Inmaculada was built to serve as its parish church.
In 1751, the Bishop of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, Monseñor Pedro Agustín Morel de Santa Cruz supervised the establishment of the first school in Heredia, which was run by the church. This school is now known as the Liceo de Heredia. In 1763 the town was upgraded to the rank of Villa; it was later retitled Heredia in honor of the President of the Audiencia de Guatemala who had conferred the status, don Alonso Fernández de Heredia.
During the 18th century the area around Heredia was developed, with the founding of towns like Barva. On October 31, 1796, Padre Felix de Alvarado laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of the Iglesia de la Inmaculada. The Municipality of Heredia was founded on May 19, 1812, and in 1824 Heredia was promoted to city status by Juan Rafael Mora, first President of the Republic. The 1848 constitution made Heredia the capital of Heredia Province, promoted it to cantón, and gave it seven official parishes.
Heredia’s nickname is “Ciudad de las Flores” (City of Flowers), but not due to the city’s multifarious and manifold flowers, as many private tourist companies describe it. At the turn of the 19th century, the well-to-do Flores family dominated political and social life in the city; one of the family’s more celebrated members, Alfredo González Flores, served as president of Costa Rica before being ousted in a coup by Federico Tinoco Granados. Their home is now the city’s municipal museum, located directly north of the central church. The name is also said to refer to the beauty of their women. Some of the most beautiful women in Costa Rica are said to reside in this province.
For a brief era in the 1830s, Heredia was the actual capital of Costa Rica. Nowadays, Heredia is a sister city with Marietta, GA, and the Israeli settlement of Ariel, in the West Bank. The city is a friendship city with Richfield, Minnesota.
Warm year-round, the temperatures in Heredia are determined mostly by the quantity of cloud cover that affects the region. Rains come throughout the year, but the rainiest time is definitely May through to October. The region is relatively cool and welcoming throughout the year.