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San José

San José (Spanish: [saŋ xoˈse]; meaning "Saint Joseph") is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, and the capital of the province of the same name. It is in the center of the country, in the mid-west of the Central Valley, within San José Canton. San José is Costa Rica's seat of national government, focal point of political and economic activity, and major transportation hub. San José Canton's population was 288,054 in 2011, and San José's municipal land area is 44.2 square kilometers (17.2 square miles), with an estimated 333,980 residents in 2015. Together with several other cantons of the central valley, including Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago, it forms the country's Greater Metropolitan Area, with an estimated population of over 2 million in 2017. The city is named in honor of Joseph of Nazareth.
Founded in 1736 by order of Cabildo de León, the population of San José rose during the 18th century through the use of colonial planning. It has historically been a city of strategic importance, having been the capital of Costa Rica three times. More than a million people pass through it daily. It is home to the Museo Nacional de Costa Rica, the National Theatre of Costa Rica, and La Sabana Metropolitan Park.

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