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Grecia is the capital city of the canton of Grecia in the province of Alajuela in Costa Rica. It is also the name of the distrito that includes the city. The district of Grecia covers an area of 6.86 km², and has a population of 15,457.The city lies at an elevation of 999 meters above sea level in the foothills of the Cordillera Central on the eastern edge of the Central Valley. The city, which was once named "the cleanest city in Latin America," is 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital city of Alajuela, 27 kilometers from Juan Santamaría International Airport, and 45 kilometers from the national capital city of San José.Grecia is the first toucan to receive a prosthetic beak, named Grecia because of the name of this city where the bird was found injured prior to its admission to the Rescue Institute at Zoo Ave, south of the city.Iglesia de la Nuestra Señora de las MercedesGrecia is noted for its unique church, Iglesia de la Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, made entirely of pre-fabricated steel plates painted red. There are several urban legends about this church. One recounts how the church was donated by some foreign country, and sent to Greece as a gift, but was wrongly shipped to Grecia, Costa Rica. Another legend states that the final destination of the church was the city of Punta Arenas in Chile but was disembarked, by mistake, in the port of Puntarenas, Costa Rica and later sent to the city of Grecia where it was assembled.Plan your visit to Grecia and other destinations in Costa Rica using our Costa Rica trip planner.
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