El Morro (“The Promontory”) is perhaps the most famous historic structure in Puerto Rico. Begun in 1539, the mighty fortress was built on a narrow point overlooking the San Juan Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. It would prove a formidable stronghold, successfully repelling every naval attack on the city. In fact, El Morro fell only once, in 1598, to a land assault by British soldiers under the command of the Earl of Cumberland. Today, El Morro and its sister fort, Castillo San Cristóbal, are National Historic Sites and the oldest European constructions in the U.S. National Park Service. You can visit the venerable fort, walk among its ramparts, explore its dungeons, and imagine, for an instance, the rigors of colonial life in the 16th century
This is quite a sight! The entire fort is lined with windows where canons stood ready to protect the island. The cost is $3 per person to enter. And the fort is open to explore. There isn't much to see except the view and 3 or 4 rooms with information about the fort. Quite interestingly, the last time the fort was used was in the Spanish - American War with the US Navy in 1898. It took 200 years for the fort to be constructed, but today the ocean salt is eating it slowly every day. The black that covers the walls is it's slow deconstruction.
In the front yard of the fort many people come to fly kites and enjoy the sunny day. It is all very beautiful!
There were two things that I wanted to see in San Juan, Puerto Rico: The famous San Felipe Del Morro Castle, sometimes called the El Morro and the San Cristobal Castle where the cannon balls are located.
Due to lack of time as I was only here to volunteer up in the jungles of Indiera, I didn't have to time to explore the San Cristobal Castle.
At the El Morro, you can see an old cannon that dates back when the Spaniards came to the island. The city is surrounded with a fortress.
The walk to the Castle is very far so make sure to bring a good pair of walking shoes. Also, make sure to bring an umbrella just in case it rains while you are there. You never know the weather of Puerto Rico. Sometimes it rains in the morning and sometimes it rains in the afternoon. When it does not rain, it gets really hot and humid, so , as tip, make sure to wear comfortably.
Make sure to go down to the steps and head to the canyon so you can see the spectacular view of the Old San Juan.
This castillo was ok. Personally, comparing it to others I have been in, it was a little expensive ($3 a person) and there wasn't anything that interesting to see inside. However, if you are already planning a trip to San Juan, you might as well check it out.
One night after a brief visit to a casino in Condado, we ventured into Old San Juan and somehow ended up right in front of El Morro. We parked and got out to explore what we could. It was lit up and looking magical, and most wonderfully uncrowded. We went up to the outside of the moat, looked along the walls and over the bridge and to the lighthouse. There is a staircase that is unblocked (even in the middle of the night!) so if you were so inclined you could go down into the moat and have a look around. The view back to Old San Juan on a night where the moon was full, was really specatacular.
If you want to get into the fort for a tour, the hours are 9am-5pm from June to November and 9am to 6pm December to May
A couple days later we were back in old San Juan and visited the city walls and the original gate to the city. A very different experience in the heat of the day.
The sentry lookout towers, or garitas, that are on the corners of the walls are famous landmarks of Puerto Rico, they are even pictured on the license plates. El Morro is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Castillo de San Cristobal, the largest fortification ever built by the Spanish in the New World. Declared a World Heritage site in 1983, this massive fortification which covers 27 acres containin unsuspected historical treasures.
El Castillo San Felipe del Morro was declared a World Heritage site by the United Nations in 1933. El Morro is Puerto Rico's best known fortress. Spanish troops fortified the high clif overlooking the enterance to the harbor to keep seaborne enemies out of San Juan. El morro means 'promontory' and it certenly is that. Today this dramatic castle welcomes multitudes of arriving cruise ships and aircraft to the bussiest port in the Caribbean. Over two million visitors a year explore the windswept ramparts.
El Morro is part of the National Park Service (don't forget your National Park Passport Stamp!), and is probably one of the most recognizable features of San Juan. The fort itself has been (and is being) restored on numerous occasions.
San Juan National Historic Site includes forts San Cristobal, San Felipe del Morro, and San Juan de la Cruz also called El Canuelo, plus bastions, powder houses, and three fourths of the city wall. All these defensive fortifications surround the old, colonial portion of San Juan, Puerto Rico. El Canuelo Fort is located at Isla de Cabras at the western end of the entrance to the San Juan Bay. These forts were built by Spanish troops beginning in 1539 with a tower at El Morro and La Fortaleza and took more that 250 years. Most of the walls were added later in a period of tremendous construction in the mid-to-late 1700's.
The charateristic look-out towers surround the city, but are locked. The asscessible ones are part of the national park sites around the city.
It costs $3 to $5 to get in, and you have access to all the sites with one ticket.
El Morro, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and San Juan Bay, is the most striking of the city’s military fortifications (and the greatest in the Caribbean). Along with San Cristóbal Fort, El Morro has been designated a National Historic Site and is part of a World Heritage Site. It is administered by the U.S. National Park Service. Open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. English tours depart at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM.
More photos on my San Juan Page.
El Fuerte San Felipe del Morro, rodeado por el Océano Atlántico y la Bahía de San Juan, es la más impresionante de las fortificaciones militares de la Isla ( y la más grande del Caribe). Al igual que el Fuerte San Cristóbal, El Morro ha sido designado como Legado Histórico Nacional y es parte del “World Heritage Site”.
Más fotos en mi página de San Juan.
Though in Old San Juan, I think it has to have a separate description. A great fortification spaniards built to protect the city from enemies. The inside of this great castle is awsome, and you can take real cool photographs!!! Overall in b/w.
You might find it expensive to get in, but it really is worth the visit. Whatch out with timetables, about 17 all public building closes!!! And this is a general tip as well, lol.
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