"El Morro" El Morro Tip by Tom_Fields

El Morro, San Juan: 38 reviews and 102 photos

  El Morro
by Tom_Fields
  • El Morro - San Juan
      El Morro
    by Tom_Fields
  • The main plaza - San Juan
      The main plaza
    by Tom_Fields
  • The 1908 lighthouse - San Juan
      The 1908 lighthouse
    by Tom_Fields
  • One of the garitas - San Juan
      One of the garitas
    by Tom_Fields
  • The view across the harbor entrance - San Juan
      The view across the harbor entrance
    by Tom_Fields

In 1539, King Carlos V of Spain ordered the construction of this fort to guard the sea approach to San Juan. Since then, the basic plan of the old fort hasn't changed. Sir Francis Drake attacked unsuccessfully in 1595. Later, the Duke of Cumberland attacked and took the fort, only to see his army decimated by dysentery. A Dutch attack was also repelled in 1625, but the Dutch did manage to sack the city.

The Spanish-American War of 1898 resulted in an American bombardment, followed by the loss of Puerto Rico and all other Spanish possessions in the Caribbean. The US Navy erected the lighthouse in 1908. During World War II, the fort was an observation post, but saw no action.

The National Park Service acquired this property in 1949, and restored most of its original appearance. It's been designated a UN World Heritage Site.

The fort has a nice museum, a small theater, a vintage Spanish cannon, and its original "garitas". These are fortified sentry posts, which soldiers manned around the clock. They have come to be symbols of Old San Juan.

Address: Norzagaray St, San Juan, PR 00901
Directions: Located on the tip of the peninsula, at the far western end of Old San Juan, it's hard to miss. If you follow Norzagaray St to its end, it's right there.
othercontact: http://www.gotopuertorico.com/pu
Phone: (787) 729-6777
Website: http://www.nps.gov/archive/saju/morro.html

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 9, 2008
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