Along the Natchez Trace

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Day In Jail....

(After I posted this, it's come to my attention that there are serious problems with the layout... after 2 hours of blog frustration, I think I've fixed it....  please let me know if there is still a problem)

When Bill & I were in Liberia recently, we walked past a museum, but at that time didn't have time to stop.  So, when we went back into Liberia with Steve and Ann this past week, we all wanted to check it out.  As it happened, we had talked about it before going, but none of us found any information in our guide books about it.  

So...  in we walked...  not having a clue as to what we'd see.
The outside looks impressive...  Command Plaza
Looks like a fort, especially since it has a guard tower on each corner.  Although there was a lady at the front desk, she just waved us through, there was no charge and there were no brochures available that we could use as a walking tour.

Here you can see the guard tower on the right...  and if you look closely you can even see slots where sharp-shooters can shoot from the upper deck.

Since we visited it, I googled this place to try to get straight in my mind what it was all about...

Lonely Planet Review
It's not much of a museum but Liberia's old city jail is definitely interesting.  Depressing dorms and cells surround a barren concrete courtyard.  It does have occasional student concerts here, and there are plans for an actual museum to be staged here.....  at some point.

Ah Ha!  This is an old jail!
 Ann and Bill (and Steve who is barely visible) check out the old jail cells...

Steve demonstrates what it's like to be a prisoner here....

And....  another source....

Santa Rosa National Park & Liberia City Tour
The Santa Rosa National Park is the sight of Costa Rica's most important monument, the Hacienda Santa Rosa.  Known locally as La Casona, (meaning "large house" in Spanish), this monument marks the fall of filibuster William Walker and his professional mercenaries to a local peasant army in 1856.  Today, La Casona is a museum dedicated to the memory of this battle.  This tour will allow you to stop by and explore this historical sight.

Seems like The Large House means pretty much what the Big House does in the USA...  it's a prison, or a jail....  or at any rate, a place where criminals are incarcerated.
Here we're walking around the inside perimeter...  There's a guard house at each corner.

In the center is a large courtyard.  You can look down on it from any of the higher areas.

Looking through one of the rifle slots along the upstairs wall, you can see out onto the city streets.  Those red autos are taxis parked next to the city park....  which is the central part of the city.
There is beautiful tile-work inside.
As we walked along the hallways, we could tell that since it's been a jail (or prison) it was last a primary school.  Above the doorways are painted what classrooms were there.
And the drinking fountains, though no longer working, are at a young child's level, as well as ones at an adult level.

So...  while it isn't much of a museum as we expected, it is still being kept intact....  and obviously has the potential to one day be a real tourist attraction.

While it seems Liberia doesn't have much to offer right now in the "tourist attraction" line, here are a few of the statues and commemoration areas we saw along our walk.
As you can see, while they are interesting, it would be easy to pass right by as they seem placed right in the midst of utility posts or other distractions.

One thing though...  it's interesting to see what's around us...  to taste foods, listen to the people, and even if the place isn't considered a big attraction, we don't want to miss seeing a thing.

Tourism is the biggest "industry" in Costa Rica, and this area of Guanacaste, being along the coast with all the beaches is an area that will attract both vacationers and full-time people.  Liberia's airport has direct flight to and from all the major countries.

So I suspect that it won't take long for this museum to one day be a major attraction.

That's All For Today!


  1. Hmmm funny this going on with this posting, not sure why either.
    But and interesting tour for the day anyway, thanks for all the pics.

  2. The post came out just fine for me. I don't see any problem.

  3. Looks good. No, not the prison, but your blog. Did you hear any moaning left over from the old days.

  4. Yes! I couldn't comment earlier and now I can. And I had no idea I had missed out on so many pictures. Hope they let you out after your visit.

  5. That jail is another good reason to stay out of trouble:)

  6. spooky ... one of the reasons I never did anything illegal was the fear of being in a concrete box ... man

    they'd throw me in the solitary box thing for talking too much ...

  7. You have found some pretty interesting things once you've become established and found your way around.