If you ever visit Grecia, one thing you can’t miss is smack dab in the middle of the town’s center: a humongous, beautiful, bright red metal church. It is the centerpiece of Grecia.
Iglesias de la Nuestra Senora de la Mercedes (Our Lady of Mercy) is the most interesting structure in Grecia because its bright red color and composition entirely of prefabricated metal sheets make it quite unique. I first laid eyes upon this magnificent structure back in April 2019, when I was on tour in Costa Rica. It faces west and punctuates the north end of the central park, where Tezzy and I often spend time sitting, talking, and people watching. Occasionally, when I have errands to run in town, Tezzy will enter the church for prayer and solace.
Many stories and urban legends surround how the church arrived here in Grecia, which in Spanish means “Greece.” However, according to Wikipedia, “Records clearly show that the instruction, shipment, and construction of the church were a coordinated effort of Grecia’s population, the Catholic Church, the Costa Rican government and Alejo E. Jimenez Bonnefil (1858–1922), a Costa Rican coffee producer and exporter who was in charge of commanding and importing the church from the manufacturer Ateliers de la Societe de Couvillet in Belgium in the late 19th century.”
The church is stunning and unusual, with solid sheets riveted together and then painted red and outlined in white. If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Central Valley of Costa Rica, you absolutely must visit the red metal church of Grecia.
(Written Before Covid – 19 Outbreak)