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San Doloroso

Tourist Information

Toronja (Capital City)

Simón Doloroso

El Hombrito

Radio Libertad

Newspaper Cuttings



Toronja is the capital city of San Doloroso. Situated in the north west of the country, not far from the Pacific coast, it has a population of approximately 1.2 million people. The name 'Toronja' is derived from the Spanish word for grapefruit. According to local legend, a confused colonial official gave the name to the administrative capital after passing several fields of pineapples that he mistakenly identified as grapefruit. This error caused much amusement among the indigenous population and although the name of the city was soon changed to Piña - or pineapple - local people continued to use the original word, as a subtle dig at Spanish authority. After independence, Toronja was adopted as the official name of the city. It now stands as a self-conscious monument to the absurdities of San Doloroso's colonial past.

Street Map (circa 1990)


Things To Do

Modern Toronja is a lively and vibrant city that is perhaps under appreciated as a tourist destination. There is a thriving night life and many charming squares still redolent of the colonial era. The Plaza Mayor (Avenida 43 Este) is a good place to start, with the impressive two hundred year old Catedral proving a popular destination. The Ayuntamiento (City Hall) is on the eastern side of the plaza but more impressive still is the Independence Monument, a statue of Simón Doloroso, the famed revolutionary leader, whose stern visage dominates the surrounding area. The transmission aerial of Radio Libertad can also be seen from the plaza. One of the most familiar sites on the Toronja skyline, Edificio Libertad itself (on Avenida 58 Sur) is a striking art deco building not dissimilar to the BBC's Broadcasting House in London. It was partially destroyed by a terrorist bomb in 1990 but has since been completely restored. The National Museum on Avenida 19 Oeste - itself rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1993 - is a treasure trove of ethnic art and culture dating back literally thousand of years. The Archaeological Museum, on Avenida 55 Este, is smaller but still contains many important items. Matanza Park is the largest area of greenery in Central Toronja and the Plaza de los Mártires is also well worth a visit (though it is inadvisable to take photographs here as the Metropolitan Police Headquarters is situated nearby on Avenida 31). Further south, there are boat trips to be had on the Rio Verde, San Doloroso's longest river (though watch out for unscrupulous touts selling tickets for non-existent boats) and there is usually something to watch at the National Football Stadium, which played host to the World Cup Final in 1998.

All material copyright Jack Treby 2023