4.4
5 votes

San Juan National Historic Site

501 Norzagaray Street, San Juan, Puerto Rico (see also separate entry under PR) 901 USA

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Open Now
Thu 9a-6p

“the Gibraltar of the Caribbean”

Puerto Rico’s geographic position at the western edge of the Caribbean made San Juan one of the key frontier outposts of Spain’s West Indies dominions. San Juan National Historic Site includes Castillo San Cristóbal, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Fortín San Juan de la Cruz known locally as El Cañuelo, and three fourths of the city walls. Old San Juan is located on a small and narrow island which lies in the north coast, about 35 miles (56 km) from the east end of Puerto Rico, and is united to the mainland of Puerto Rico by the three bridges. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and to the south by San Juan Bay or "Bahia de San Juan" which lies between the city and the mainland. On a bluff about 100 feet (30 m) high at the west end of the island and commanding the entrance to the harbor rise the battlements of Fort San Felipe del Morro, in which there is a lighthouse. Lying on the northwestern-most point of the islet of Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro is named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. The fortification, also referred to as el Morro or 'the promontory,' was designed to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay, and defend the Spanish colonial port city of San Juan from seaborne enemies.In 1983, the el Castillo was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in conjunction with the San Juan National Historic Site. Over two (2) million visitors a year explore the windswept ramparts and passageways making the castillo one of Puerto Rico's main visitor attractions. Facing the structure, on the opposite side of the bay, a smaller fortification known as El Cañuelo complemented the castillo's defense of the entrance to the bay. The Castillo de San Cristóbal is a Spanish fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was built by Spain to protect against land based attacks on the city of San Juan. It is part of San Juan National Historic Site.Castillo de San Cristóbal is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World. When it was finished in 1783, it covered about 27 acres of land and basically wrapped around the city of San Juan. Entry to the city was sealed by San Cristóbal's double gates. After close to one hundred years of relative peace in the area, part of the fortification (about a third) was demolished in 1897 to help ease the flow of traffic in and out of the walled city. Fortín San Juan de la Cruz (Fort Saint John of the Cross), better known as el Cañuelo, was built on El Cañuelo Island at the western end of the entrance to San Juan bay, in Puerto Rico. The square sea fort has massive sandstone walls that date back to the 1630s. Although the U.S. Navy bombarded the fort in 1898, the fort survived. Today the fort is part of the San Juan National Historic Site, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and on the National Register of Historic Places. One cannot enter the fort, but one may walk around it.

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Reviewed by
Don Victor

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
April 26, 2016
Rated 4.0

A must when in Puerto Rico. You will get a history lesson and can capture beautiful images all at once.

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San Juan National Historic Site

501 Norzagaray Street
San Juan, Puerto Rico (see also separate entry under PR)
901 USA

Hours

Open now until 6:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

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