La Fortaleza Puerto Rico

La Fortaleza and the San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico are places in and around San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the United States. Both of them have been UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1983. After La Fortaleza, the defenses of Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristobal, and San Juan de la Cruz (El Canuelo) were built, as well as a large part of the old San Juan City Wall. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, they were built to protect the city and the bay of San Juan.

La Fortaleza San Juan Puerto Rico

They are a good example of the traditional ways that military buildings were built during this time. It’s a project that takes European ideas and methods and changes them to fit the way Caribbean port cities work. La Fortaleza has been a fort, an armory, a prison, the Governor-palace, the General’s office, and the seat and home of the Governor of Puerto Rico.

It is made up of a group of defenses spread across two properties. (1) San Juan National Historic Site, and (2) La Fortaleza. (2a) Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, (2b) Castillo de San Cristóbal, (2c) El Cañuelo, (2d) San Juan City Walls. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, these structures were built to protect the city and harbor of San Juan.

They are examples of how European military architecture was adapted for use in port cities on the American continent. La Fortaleza was the first defense for the city that was built. The historic site also includes the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, the Castillo de San Cristobal, El Canuelo, and three-quarters of the old city wall.

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La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico

San Juan is the second oldest city in the Western Hemisphere, after Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The old city of San Juan has the feel of a Spanish colonial city. The walls of the city are mostly still there, and they protect the harbor in San Juan.

Make it a point to stop by Carli’s Bistro in San Juan’s old city to hear former Beach Boy keyboardist Carli Munoz play jazz. Since Puerto Rico is a US territory, both the UNESCO World Heritage Site La Fortaleza and the UNESCO World Heritage Site San Juan National Historic Site are US sites.

La Fortaleza San Juan

This place has both civilian and military structures that are typical of a well-preserved state. The important role it played when the Spanish took over the area is another reason why it got the UNESCO seal of approval. The defense system shows that the area has a long and interesting history.

The Fortress, or La Fortaleza, is the first of two important places in Puerto Rico that are part of a UNESCO site. The other is the San Juan National Historic Site, which is also part of La Fortaleza. The other name for this building is the Palacio de Santa Catalina. This luxurious palace was the first of its kind in the New World, and it is the only one that is still in use today.

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Fortaleza San Juan

In 1640, the old building of the chapel of Santa Catalina was taken apart. When the fortifications were first built, the chapel was outside of them. But when the building was being fixed up, it was added to the main walls. The San Juan National Historic Site is the other part of this UNESCO site. It’s in the Old San Juan neighborhood of the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

It is also run by the National Park Service of the United States. This historical site helps to protect and keep the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a fort from the colonial era in Old San Juan. Powder houses, bastions, and the city walls from the Middle Ages are some of the other important monuments that have been kept at this site. In 1966, this place was put on the National Register of Historic Places. Both La Fortaleza and the San Juan National Historic Site are great places to visit in Puerto Rico.

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  • Here are some things you should know before you go to La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico:
  1. The San Juan National Historic Site is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. La Fortaleza is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week.
  2. This UNESCO site is at 501 Norzagaray Street in Old San Juan’s Castillo San Cristobal.
  3. The weather in Puerto Rico is tropical all year long. Rain can happen at any time of the year, but April is the month with the least rain. If you want to avoid coming between June and November, that’s when hurricane season is.
  4. All visitors must pay $5 to get into the forts of Castillo San Cristobal and Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
  5. This park and world heritage site has places to get married and take pictures. Each of you must pay $150 for application and administrative costs. There could be other costs.

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Author: Amitava Ray
I'm a photographer (1979) and a blogger (2006). My future photography and blogging endeavors are contingent on the success of Whizzed Net.