Reinforcement work completed at nation’s oldest church

The Centro de Patrimonio has pronounced reinforcement work on the country’s oldest church to be finished. There was a ceremony to that effect Wednesday at the church, the Templo Católico de la Purísima Concepción del Rescate. It is in Ujarrás de Cartago.

The structure and surrounding park is owned by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, and the church usually is called the Ruinas de Ujarrás.

The Centro de Patrimonio spent 10 million colons ($19,940) in studying the vulnerability of the structure and 33.9 million colons ($67,600) in reinforcement work.

Tradition says that the church was built in 1638.

Part of the vulnerability study involves making sure the ground was secure because there had been reports of landslides at nearby streams. The study discounted those rumors, said the director of the centro, Sandra Quiròs. The church has suffered heavy damage from earthquakes.

It is no more than a shell now.

The work on the church ruins involved filling cracks with concrete and constructing concrete supports for the front and back walls. There also was extensive drainage work around the exterior walls. The centro also has supported the restoration of adjacent buildings.

Manuel Obregón, minister of Cultura y Juventud, noted in the ceremony that the end of work marked a year in which there were other restorations in the province of Cartago.

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