Cartago was established in 1563 by Juan Vásquez de Coronado, a Spanish governor and conquistador. One of the finest Spanish colonial cities in terms of architecture during its time, much of Cartago was destroyed in 1732 by the eruption of the Irazu Volcano. Sitting at an altitude of nearly 4,800 feet above sea level, the weather in Cartago is much cooler and drier than its neighboring valley towns.
The Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (Our Lady of the Angels Basilica) is a Roman Catholic basilica in Costa Rica, located in the city of Cartago and dedicated to the Virgen de los Pardos, officially known as Virgen de los Ángeles (the Lady of the Angels). The basilica was built in 1639 and was partially destroyed by an earthquake. The basilica has since been restored and constitutes a unique mix of colonial architecture as well as 19th century Byzantine style, the current building dates back to 1939.