Metallic Building (Ed)ificio Metálico)
Metallic Building (Ed)ificio Metálico)

Metallic Building (Ed)ificio Metálico)

Free admission

The elegant metal facade of this San José landmark was made in Belgium and then shipped piece by piece to Costa Rica. Now an elementary school, the 1896 Metallic Building (Edificio Metálico) is a recognizable San José landmark on some San Jose walking tours, along with nearby Parque España and Morazan Park.

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Calle 9, 10101

The basics

Cast-iron columns clad in iron sheets form the exterior of this eye-catching building, which has an appealing location between two lush parks. You can stroll around the perimeter, peek inside, and spot the bust of Athena—the Greek goddess of wisdom—perched high on the facade. Legend has it that the design was inspired by Paris’ Eiffel Tower, and in 1980 Metallic Building was named a Relic of National Historical and Architectural Interest in Costa Rica.

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Things to know before you go

  • Metallic Building (Edificio Metálico) is a great place to explore on foot—a handful of San José sites are within walking distance.

  • The best views of the park are from Jardín de Paz.

  • A long list of Costa Rican luminaries attended the elementary school, a must-see for history buffs.

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How to get there

The Metallic Building is on Avenida 5, between Calle 7 and Calle 9, on the northern edge of San José’s downtown core. While the Metallic Building is within walking distance of a handful of key sites, restaurants, and hotels, it’s possible to come via taxi or public transit. Bus stops are plentiful on nearby Avenida 3, as are taxis (be sure to watch for the “official” red and yellow taxis).

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When to get there

Visit the Metallic Building during the daytime when the facade’s elegant lines and decor are most visible. While San José is a largely safe city, many locals recommend avoiding parks after dark. If you’re passing through at night, consider hailing a taxi instead of walking for security reasons.

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Historic sites in San José

Costa Rica’s capital feels modern, but a few well-preserved 19th- and early 20th-century landmarks hint at that era’s growth and prosperity. The old post office (Correos de Costa Rica) and the sherbert-colored Teatro Popular Melico Salazar feature elegant molding. The 1871 Metropolitan Church (Catedral Metropolitana) remains the city’s principal cathedral, with stained glass, an impressive pipe organ, and a charming garden.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Metallic Building (Ed)ificio Metálico)?
Attractions near Metallic Building (Ed)ificio Metálico):