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San Juan National Historic Site
Photo of San Juan National Historic Site courtesy NPS

An island on the periphery of the "New World" empire, Puerto Rico served as a Spanish fortress designed to protect Spain's American holdings.

San Juan National Historic Site, includes forts, bastions, powder houses, wall and El Ca˝uelo Fort, also called San Juan de la Cruz defensive fortifications that once surrounded the old, colonial portion of San Juan, Puerto Rico. El Ca˝uelo Fort is located at Isla de Cabras at the western end of the entrance to San Juan Bay. Sections of the massive sandstone walls, dating to the 1630s, remain; so, too, do the San Cristˇbal and San Felipe del Morro forts.

San Juan had the first municipal government in the "New World", outside Santo Domingo, as well as the first military presidio in Spanish America. By the 19th century, the old city had become a charming residential and commercial district. The city itself, with its institutional buildings, museums, houses, churches, plazas, and commercial buildings, is part of the San Juan Historic Zone which is administered by municipal, State and Federal agencies.

Facilities available at San Juan National Historic Site:

San Juan National Historic Site website
Recreation Area Map
Park Email:

Phone numbers
Headquarters 787-729-6777
Visitor Information 787-729-6960
Maintenance 787-729-6791

San Juan National Historic Site; Fort San Cristobal
Norzagaray Street
San Juan, PR 901