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Fodor's Costa Rica 2014
Centro Nacional de la Cultura
Centro Nacional de la Cultura Review
Costa Rica cherishes its state enterprises. Here the government is your light and water utility, your phone company, your Internet service provider, your bank, your insurance agent, and your hospital. It is also your distillery, and this complex served as the headquarters of the Fábrica Nacional de Licores (National Liquor Factory) until 1981, when it moved to a modern facility in the Central Valley. In a heartwarming exception to the usual "tear it down" mentality so prevalent in San José, the Ministry of Culture converted the sloped-surface, double-block 1853 factory into the 14,000-square-meter National Cultural Center, with government offices, two theaters, and a museum. The stone-block storage depot next to the water towers at the southeast side of the complex became the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo. A stone gate and sundial grace the entrance nearest the museum. The complex sits amid government offices, at the point where downtown's northern reaches fade into the more residential neighborhood of Barrio Otoya.
Teatro FANAL. The metal Teatro FANAL hosts frequent theater and music performances. 2222–2974. www.mjc.go.cr.
Teatro 1887. The clay-brick Teatro 1887 dedicates itself to performances by the National Dance Company. What is now the theater's lobby was once a chemical testing lab. 2222–2974. www.mjc.go.cr.
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