El Moro is the predominant fort that most people notice as it is a big landmark in the harbor, especially if you approach or leave by cruise ship. It also has it's own site on Virtual Tourist. But there is another big San Juan fort and my guide convinced me that this fort was very worthy of a visit. It is not only a part of the a San Juan National Historic Site (which also includes El Moro) but it is a World Heritage Site.
After the Dutch successfully attacked by land in 1625, Fort Cristobal was built (began in 1634 and completed in 1771) to protect the city from the land side. The fortification was first tested in 1797 battle when Sir Ralph Abercromy's British troops were unsuccesful in a land attack. Built on San Cristobal Hill (hence the name), the fort is one of the largest Spanish fortifications in the New World. When it was finished, it covered about 27 acres of land, basically wrapping the city of San Juan. Entry to the city was sealed by San Cristóbal's double gates.
Fondest memory: We saw
* An extensive tunnel system connecting the various sections of the fort.
* A guardhouse, main plaza, and troops quarters.
* Real 200-pound mortar shells.
* Cavalier San Miguel, the highest part of the port which allowed an unobstructed view of the city.
* Five cisterns under the main plaza where troops drilled. They held 716,000 gallons of rainwater capable of supporting the garrison for a year.
* Exhibits of military clothing.
Unfortunately we were not there for the re-enactment.
Favorite thing: You have to drive to El Morro. The first time I went there, I cried. It seemed so big, so old, and I could feel the history of the place, imagine what might have gone on there, going from room to room, level to level.
" El Morro '' fortified in 1539, finished in 1589, 140 feet above sea level, 18 ft thick walls. The Fort only fell once to a land assault by the Earl of Cumberland forces.
The Fort is a maze of Tunnels, Dungeons, Barracks, Outpost, and Ramps. There were many restorations and expansions to make the Fort what it is today. The area is a 74 acre site and it has been a National Historic site since 1949. Tours are available , Tour office is open 9-5, and admission is free.
Fondest memory: Seeing all the colourful buildings the Forts , the Ships in the harbour etc etc
I wish we could have spent more time in San Juan.
Definitely I would say the 2 huge Forts of Old San Juan,this picture features one of 2. San Cristobal built in the 18 th Century .They called it the Gibraltar of the West Indies. San Cristobal massive in size is one of the largest defences ever built in the Americas Guided tours through the '' Maze'' are available on Tuesday , Thursday, & Friday at 10 am 11 am 2 pm & 3pm.
Office open daily. 9 a.m -5 pm.
Located at Norzagaray street Old San Juan
Tel (787) 729-6653.
Fondest memory: Good memories of San Juan , the great colorful houses & buildings Goverment buildings , Forts ,Churches, stores Fountains, Monuments , not to forget the incredible harbour with its Cruise Ships and a Tall Ship.
Fondest memory: There is nothing better than a walked thought El Morro in a Saturday afternoon. I don’t know how to explain it without sounding too clichéd, but I think old San Juan has a special magic, when I’m there I feel like I’m some place else. It feels like I’m visiting another country without leaving my country. I think it’s because of the diversity of people that you encounter when you are there. Old San Juan is the only place where you can find the famous “linber” that I used to eat when I was a child. “Linber” is just frozen water with artificial flavors but it’s wonderful to walk around holding a “linber in your hands and getting your teeth all colored and smiling to everybody you meet showing your red or blue teeth.
See the lighthouse .......that have stood on el morro fifth level.
the first one was constructed in 1846, the second lighthouse replaced in 1876 and the third 1899-1900.
El morro Lighthouse took a direct hit during the Spanish-American war bombardment,but the brick foundation was salvaged and reused to erect the lighthouse in use here today.
This aid to navigation still serves to help ships to enter San Juan Harbor,one of the busiest port in the caribbean.
visit the San Cristobal Fort.......
Unlike El Morro fort,whose main job was prevent enemy ships from entering the harbor,San Cristobal protected the land approaches to san Juan from the East.
This massive fortification was first tested in 1797 battle when Sir Ralph abercromy's 7,000 British troops unsuccesfully attacked the city.
Visit the old Forts. There are historic sites to see and an island tour is worth the price. Walking through the 'downtown' or shopping area is not the most pleasant experience. It smells like garbage. Streets are narrow, traffic is heavy and the shops are the same in every port. Nothing special here.
Fondest memory: While in port, there was a Portuguese Naval training ship in port. Visitors were allowed to board this magnificent Sailing vessel and tour it free. It was very impressive and had a great story behind it.
Favorite thing: Take a look at the City Wall, 42 feet high, that surrounds the Old City. Building was begun in the 1630s.
Visit.......El Morro 'n' GUN :)
This big gun in 1898 fired the first shoot of the Spanish-American War in Puerto Rico.
Favorite thing: Visit The Morro Fort.......and you are going to see the beauty of this place.
Favorite thing: Visit the well-known silhouette of The Garita.... is often used as a symbol of Puerto Rico.