Monday, February 28, 2011

San Juan's El Morro, a old cool fort in Puerto Rico

San Juan is a major port and tourist resort of the West Indies and is the oldest city under the U.S flag.  It's also home to many historical sites including "El Morro", a wicked cool old castle that once protected San Juan's harbor.   In 1508 Juan Ponce de León founded the original settlement, Caparra, now known as Pueblo Viejo, behind the almost land-locked harbor just to the west of the present metropolitan area. 

El Morro is a six-level fortress that was started up in 1540 and completed in 1589.   Major upgrades were also made to the fort in the 1760's-1780's and these updates are still seen today.  Big walls and sweeping views are provided by the fort that rises 140 feet above the Caribbean.  The walls are 18 feet thick, that type of strong wall protected the harbor and only once, in 1598, did the town face an attack, from land by  the Earl of Cumberland's forces.

The area was designated a National Historic Site in February, 1949 with 74 total acres. It has the distinction of being the largest fortification in the Caribbean. In 1992, the fortress was restored to its historical form in honor of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Puerto Rico by Christopher Columbus. These days El Morro Fortress is a National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service. The fort is open to the public daily from 9am to 5pm.   Check it out further at:

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