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An insider’s glimpse to San Juan National Historic Site 

By Roger Nash Subscribe to RSS | December 21st 2011 | Views:
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San Juan National Historic Site functions under the aegis of the National Park Service. It covers all the forts, bastions as well as powder houses, walls and of course the El Cañuelo Fort. This fort also goes by the name of San Juan de la Cruz. All of these served as the line of defense that was once what surrounded the old, colonial sections of San Juan.

El Cañuelo Fort is situated at Isla de Cabras and is on the San Juan entrance to the west. A number of large sandstone walls that go all the way back to the 1630s are still standing as are the forts of San Cristóbal and San Felipe del Morro. San Juan itself has a number of institutions museums and residences. It also has several churches and plazas as well as commercial buildings. All of this forms what is known as the San Juan Historic Zone and is governed by the municipality as well as Federal agencies. In 1983, the UN added this area to its list of World Cultural Heritage Sites. The sites are open between 9:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. everyday and you will need to call in your visit before you head out there.

All of the military structures that have come up here are defensive in nature and are built strategically to protect the city as well as the area of the Bay of San Juan. They are representative of a wonderful display of military architecture from Europe.

The complete site of San Juan is a mix of monumental elements and there is a great balance between areas that are constructed and non-constructed. You have the Fortaleza that is part of the New World history. Because it was a central point for most explorers who came to the New World, the island was constantly under dispute between the Spanish, French, English and Dutch. All the fortifications you see are a result of the city attempting to protect itself.

Main sports to see here are the La Fortaleza. Over the decades, San Juan was central to protecting the Spanish empire from against Carib Indians, pirates and of course the battling ships of other nations. The main part of this defensive system begins in the southern part of the structure. From there comes up a massive yet cohesive defense system through a series of ramparts, fortlets and fortresses.

You will also have El Morro to see and of course San Cristóbal and its surrounding areas.

Roger Nash - About Author:
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