This is Ponce's premier art museum. Designed by Edward Durrel Stone, it has 14 galleries containing about 3,000 pieces. This includes many by local artists. Dedicated in 1965, it was founded by Luis A. Ferré. This fine collection is a must-see for any art lover visiting Ponce.
Pedro Adolfo de Castro designed this building for the wealthy sugar cane magnate Eugenio Serrallés. It was built in 1926, on the south side of El Vigia, a hill overlooking Ponce. Today, it's a museum, with exhibits about the Serralles family and the sugar industry. Guided tours explain everything. No photos are allowed inside the house, but the garden offers some fine opportunities. The house also affords a great view of the city.
Lt. Col. Maximo Meana, of the Spanish Army, designed this unusual building, which was built in 1882. It was part of Puerto Rico's agricultural exhibition, meant to be only temporary. The next year, a giant fire swept through the city, but the firemen put it out. In gratitude, the city made this their permanent home.
Today, it's a museum dedicated to the city's firemen. Any visitor to Ponce should see this flamboyant, unique structure.
This beautiful church is comparable to the one in San Juan. The first chapel was built here in 1670, followed by a larger one in 1839. The Pope declared it a cathedral in 1924. Damaged by earthquakes, it has undergone a number of renovations and restorations.
In English: Plaza of Delights. This is where everything is. A block out of the plaza, almost everything still needs to be renovated, but inside the plaza, it looks like it would have in the early 20th century, and it's very enchanting. Almost everything worth seeing sight-seeing wise is here or a block or two away. In the picture are the fountains of the lions and a statue dedicated to Luís Muñoz Rivera, and on the southern side is a statue dedicated to Federico Degetau.
A really beautiful fountain when it's on, it's nice to just sit on a park bench and watch it and the birds. It's a great place to do people-watching while eating your gelatto and reading a book. This fountain was dedicated to the man the city is named for: Juan Ponce de León.
Construction of this church began in 1670, but it was definately less intricate and more rustic. The catherdal you see today was a part of a design that began to be constructed in 1835, and finished in 1839. However, it was destroyed during the earthquake in 1918, but rebuilt in 1924. Now with an amazing interior and façade, the cathedral is certainly a sight to see. It's still used today, and the day we were there, there was a funeral taking place, so we didn't dare go inside. So take that into consideration. They keep the doors open during the day, so just look inside and if there's something going on in there, please be polite and respect the services.
A perfect example of Ponceño arquitecture, it was built in 1900 as a mansion for a very important Ponceño man. Now it's used as the Regional Office of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, and it's the place to go if you want to know if something festive is going to happen soon in Ponce.
Originally constructed in a neoclassical style in 1864, it's been partially distroyed in an earthquake and burned to the ground in a big fire. It was later rebuilt in 1941 to the same original design. Now, you will see local performances here.
Everything you see about Ponce anywhere you go will have a picture of the domineering façade of the Parque de Bombas. Originally built in the 1860s by the Ponceño population after most of the city was killed in a major fire that raged out of control. Later remodeled in 1883, the firehouse finally got funding from the Ponceño government. Now permanently closed, but open to the public to browse inside and look around. Be sure to talk to the man at the table on the left-hand side. He knows a lot more information about the firehouse than I can remember. He also has great reccomendations about the places you should go to in the city if you have time to see the rest of it.
You must definitely take a walk around the city center of Ponce. You will see the beautiful houses in the “colonial” style. Most of them were owned by affluent families that came to Ponce when the Spanish Government, to stimulate commerce, offered free land for the wealthy to administer. Many used their money to build the houses that are kept like monuments today
Here is Ponce's central city plaza, the Plaza of Delights. With the lovely Cathedral, the Parque de Bombas, and a number of fountains and statues, this is truly a delightful place.
At the docks where tourists congregate, there are plenty of fish and pelicans. I did not see anyone feeding them so what draws them to this spot?
Originally constructed in 1922 as a casino, now it's used as a government office, and is a center that you can contact for any activities that are happening nearby.