From Lincoln’s signature to a piece of the Berlin Wall, what will you discover in the “Yellow House”?
The beautiful Casa Amarilla, located just north of Parque España, has long been a point of interest for giving directions or taking pictures. Now, the “Yellow House,” in all its neocolonial glory, will be opening its front doors for bi-monthly tours.
According to Chancellor Manuel González:
[quote_center]“We intend to achieve a greater level of interaction between this ministry and Costa Rican citizens. That excites us a lot, all of us at La Casa Amarilla, the ability to receive and share with Costa Rican experiences testifying the walls of this symbol of national identity.”[/quote_center]
The best part? These tours are FREE!
What will you see?
According to an article published yesterday by Terra Noticias, La Casa Amarilla is home to a lot more than simply the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Past its baroque doors and across its red carpet are documents signed by the likes of Lincoln and Kennedy, a piece of the former Berlin Wall, fifteen curated artistic works and plenty of history.
As it stands, Costa Rica is one of only three Latin American countries to be honored with a piece of the Berlin Wall. Mexico and Argentina make up the other two. The piece contained La Casa Amarilla measures three meters high and one meter wide. Germany presented it to Costa Rica in 1994 as a “symbol of freedom,” says Terra Noticias.
The “Yellow House” itself was built in 1920 by U.S. architect, Henry D. Whitfield who understood the building would be use as the Central American Court of Justice. Whitfield was chosen by none other than Andrew Carnegie after Carnegie donated over $100,000 to the project in the early 20th century. Visitors will quickly recognize the architecture as neocolonial with a few neobaroque touches — such as the doors.
In 1976, La Casa Amarilla was declared a national monument.
When can you visit?
As Gonzales explains:
[quote_center]”There is a perception that things in the Foreign Ministry are too formal, too ceremonial and that only the ambassadors may enter, but we wanted more interaction, to be rooted to the public, to open space to all.”[/quote_center]
Guided tours and classes will be available twice a month over the next three months. The first took place yesterday, February 6, 2016. Additional dates are as follows:
- February 20
- March 5
- March 19
- April 2
- April 9
Those interested in attending should register by email ([email protected]) or by phone (+506 2539-5559).
Header image via Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores.