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Costa Rican Center Of Science And Culture

Central Valley, Costa Rica

Centro Costarricense de la Ciencia y la Cultura (Costa Rican Center of Science and Culture) is a science and culture museum complex in Costa Rica. Located in a fortress-like building that once served as the central penitentiary between 1910 and 1979, the center was inaugurated in 1994. It contains a number of important institutions including the National Auditorium, the Museo de los Niños, the National Gallery and a number of others.

The Center was established in the building that housed the old Central Penitentiary, which itself was founded in 1909 and was open for 70 years. This penitentiary was closed in 1979 by Rodrigo Carazo's administration leaving the building empty and abandoned for several years. In 1991, the then First Lady Gloria Bejarano Almada, wife of President Rafael Ángel Calderón, created Fundación Ayudanos para Ayudar ("Help Us to Help Foundation" in English), to promote the Center's creation, which was inaugurated on April 27, 1994. Some sections of the building such as the facade and the walls of the west wing were proclaimed historical and architectural heritage of Costa Rica in 1988. The Center's stated mission is to strengthen education and promote the national scientific and technological development.


Museo de los Niños (literally "Children's Museum" in Spanish) is an interactive museum that focuses on the education and entertainment of kids of all ages. It was inaugurated in 1994 as part of the Center and forms the best-known part of it.

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