Even In The Daytime….

Even In The Daytime….

No doubt….even in the daytime the sanitorium on the mountain side of Irazu Volcano is a cross between awe and creepy.  This is Costa Rico, a short but adventurous drive from Cartega.

It sits there in a pasture basically…..surrounded by cattle and small homes.

The old building on the left and the newer (but vacant) building on the right.  You can see a portion of the older grounds to the right, behind the newer building.  Almost directly back of the facility, you’ll notice that the grounds have rows of dots…..this is the parking area!   Those dots are old tires planted in such a way as to make parking places.  Cool, unusual but cool.  It seems that in Costa Rico much like Mexico not much is wasted.

  It is believed to be haunted by patients of the past.  In the photo to the right, I believe I saw someone in the curtain area, however that floor in inaccessible as it’s guarded by steel gates and huge locks.  I walked all the floors of the original building pictured on the left, quite an experience. I recall standing right here and sensing the hustle of nurses and administration going to and fro while relatives of patients sat concerned for their loved ones.  That was a remarkable experience like I was seeing into the past watching the transparent version of people and objects.  Some things will always stay with me and this is one.

The Duran Sanatorium was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carlos Duran.  It started out as a hospital for tuberculosis patients.  Dr. Duran was motivated in the founding of this hospital by his daughters’ tuberculosis, his motivation took him around the world in studying the disease that afflicted his beloved daughter.

Even In The Daytime….

In later years it was used to treat the mentally ill as treatments and prevention of tuberculosis began to prevail.

In its abandonment, it has gracefully aged though. I’m on the upper level in this photo!  The wood is remarkable….the stairway is very safe and strong.  They just don’t use timber like this anymore.  Yeah, there’s a few place where you can see the subflooring, but mostly due to vandalism.

It seems a fun place for the young to explore, ghost hunt and just hang out.  I’ve mixed feelings about the graffiti throughout the facility.  At first, I thought it to be disrespectful and to some extent that hasn’t changed.  But, the young will do what the young will do.  (smiley face right here)

The electricity was generated from this old diesel truck that has a huge generator on the rear cargo flatbed area.    Note, this is up the side of Mt. Irazu Volcano!!  Close to 6,000 feet above sea level!  The roads today while modern to Costa Rica standards aren’t as wide and well kept as those in the United States.  Imagine this truck and diesel generator making its way up.  Also, understand that the sanitorium is not in any town, it’s in the field on the mountain side.  People from all over the country and Central America (and possibly beyond) would travel to this facility to visit their loved ones periodically.

The additions to the older facility consisted of a dorm to house the nurses and orderlies.This was one of the rooms in the area there was about four if my memory is correct…..plus there was an upstairs which just mirrored the bottom floor.  Across the hall from this picture was an odd shaped room which served as a library.

Even In The Daytime….

The workers had to stay there due to transportation and only occasionally went visit their family.

There is a rehab project that has been started on the aging facility, fortunately for my visit, it wasn’t the main building or I wouldn’t have been able to access it.   As a matter of fact, I got tossed as soon as I was discovered.  People were just hollering at me!  No one approached me, they just hollered!  So, I just sort of made my way back out and chatted.  They were nice.  After the chat, they returned to what they were doing before my intrusion…..laying on the lawn talking to one another.

While I don’t think I’ll be revisiting the sanatorium or Irazu Volcano……I do see another trip to Costa Rica in my future.

Peace, love, and beaches,


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