Right next to the Cuartel de Ballaja (the former Spanish barracks, the most massive building in all of Old San Juan), you'll find the Plaza del Quinto Centenario. This plaza was inaugurated on October 12, 1992, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's discovery of Puerto Rico in 1493. Unlike its predecessor (Plaza de Colon), this plaza does not include any direct reference to the explorer; instead, a huge totem sculpted by Puerto Rican artist Jaime Suarez sits at the center of the very large square. This sculpture is meant to represent the 500 years of Puerto Rican post-Columbian history, to which the roots of American history can be traced back. Although it is a very nice plaza, the couple times we happened to walk by we found it to be rather deserted and lacking in atmosphere, but this probably had to do with the fact that the nearby San José Church was closed for renovation. Maybe next time it'll be different!
The Plaza del Quinto Centerario first opened in 1992 to mark the 500 year anniversary of Columbus discovering the new world. You can't miss the 12 meter sculpture which marks the plaza. The structure itself is made of black granit. It was created by Jaime Suarez a noted Puerto Rican artist. Jason and I almost walked right through the plaza, but lucky for him, I'm a nerd and have to read just about every plaque I walk by.
This plaza, built in 1992 for the
commemorate the Fifth Centenary
of the discovery of America, extends
from the San Jose Church and the
rebuilt Ballaja Barracks.
The 'Totem Telurico', is an impressive,
verycontemporary sculpture made by
the local artist Jaime Suarez graces
its center ......
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The Plaza provides an excellent view of the
El Morro grounds, the old San Juan cemetery,
and the Atlantic Ocean.
Teenagers can be found at the plaza, on weekends,
skating and having fun; while, tourists like it as a place
to relax, away from the hustle and bustle of the city ....
This plaza commemorates 500 years since San Juan was found. It is North America's second oldest city.