The San José of Orosi Religious Art Museum (Museo de Arte Religioso de San José de Orosi) is one of the greatest treasures that the church has as it is proof of colonial Christianity and emphasizes how Costa Rica inherited a very strong religious inclination. It is located next to the temple in an Ancient Franciscan Fathers Convent, construction that dates back to 1743. Both the temple and the museum were built in the late eighteenth century by the Franciscan Fathers and have become the symbol of the colonial era. The buildings are made of adobe and some Calicanto, a mixture of stone, cement, sand and lime. Its exterior is austere, but the interior decor is absolutely baroque with carved and painted wooden sculptures and altarpieces.
The museum opened in 1980 and since then offers visitors a complete picture of the Catholic history of the place. At the San Jose of Orosi Religious Art Museum you will find Colonial religious art manifestations, it’s art collection includes approximately 120 pieces including paintings, hollies, a tomb and many religious objects that are still used in some special occasions. The museum also shows an old Franciscan room, the dining used from the eighteenth century and chasubles that were used in religious services of that era.
Orosi Church Legend
In the archives of the former Museums General Direction, it’s documented an ancient legend about the construction of the Orosi Church, which is located next to the San Jose of Orosi Religious Art Museum. It is said that the temple opens its door to the main rising sun, a rarity compared to other churches that look to the West.
To explain this feature, the locals highlight an ancient legend which tells us that when the Franciscans arrived to Orosi with the Talamanca Indians who carried on their shoulders the Saint Joseph picture playing a silver bell. But in the mountains when they got to the boiling hot spring, the bell did not want to sound anymore, so they discussed that in that place the church had to be built, as was done at once. After shortly made, the church was destroyed several times by a river. There were great penances and prayers, but at the end they understood that while the church was lifted in the usual manner it would fall, because Saint Joseph wanted to always look to Talamanca.
Address: South side of the Orosi Church, district: Orosi, canton: Paraiso, province: Cartago, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 30203.
GPS Coordinates: 9.79705,-83.854125 (9°47’49.38″N, 83°51’14.85″W)
Schedule: from Tuesday to Friday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: + (506) 2533-3852