Thursday, January 20, 2011

El Morro

Fuerte San Felipe del Morro aka "El Morro"
El Morro (which translates as "promontory") isa fortress built by the Spaniards between 1540 and 1783. Rising 140 feet above the sea, a massive six-level fortress with a labyrinth of dungeons, ramps, barracks, turrets, towers and tunnels features it's own Santa Barbara Chapel.  Built to protect the port, El Morro has a commanding view of the harbor. The area was designated a National Historic Site in February, 1949 with 74 total acres.

El Morro
Castillo San Cristobal
San Cristóbal Fort was El Morro's partner in the city's defense. Built in the 18th century, was considered the Gibraltar of the West Indies. San Cristobal was supported by a massive system of outworks which provided defense in depth and is is one of the largest defenses ever built in the Americas.
Castillo San Cristobal entrance
El Morro

Open daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed New Years, Thanksgiving and Christmas days.
Guided tours Tue, Thu-Fri at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
$3, children under 15 are free. Visit both San Cristobal Fort and El Morro Fort  for $5
Visit the U.S. National Park Service for more information.

Other forts in San Juan
The Fuerte San Gerónimo (San Gerónimo Fort) was built on the opposite end of San Juan to strengthen the city's defenses. The fort is located behind the Caribe Hilton Hotel, with small military museum in Puerta de Tierra.

The Fuerte San Gerónimo
The Santa Elena Battery building with a long chimney-topped bunker was the formal army storage area.

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