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One of the best things about living in or visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico, is the amount of activities that are cheap or even free! Having fun and getting out of your routine does not need to break the bank.

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The word itself sounds powerful and this six-level fortress certainly is. Most of the trolleys are accessible for wheelchairs and mobility devices and identified with the blue International Symbol of Accessibility. Visitors can explore the cathedral from am to 4pm daily. Today, La Perla has a population ofhousing units 29 unoccupied. National Park Service.

Points of interest

The area was deated a National Historic Site in February, with 74 total acres. It was destroyed by hurricane in October 4threbuilt in inlooted inand damaged by another hurricane in The Cathedral as seen today is the result of work done inwhen major restorations were performed. It has been occupied twice by invaders; by the Earl of Cumberland in and by the Dutch General Bowdoin Hendrick in when the building was damaged by fire. To really do justice to these wonderful old sites, you'll need two mornings or a full day.

Free admissions. Open Tues.

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The capital of Puerto Rico is the oldest city under U. Augustine, Florida, founded in is the oldest city in the continental United States. San Juan is the country's financial capital, and many U. San Juan is center of Caribbean shipping and is the 2nd largest sea port in the area after New York City. It is not probably a sight you expect to see in a major tourist zone. Inin honor of the th anniversary of the discovery of Puerto Rico by Christopher Columbus, the fortress was restored to its historical architectural grace and beauty.

Whether he lived, and the chapel was built to commemorate the miracle, or whether he died, and the chapel was to block off the street and prevent such an accident from happening again, is the part of the story that is in dispute.

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Established in the late 19th century, the zone was deated for cemeteries, slaughterhouses, and homes of former slaves, servants and the homeless. A year later, the original settlement was relocated to a nearby coastal islet to the site of what is now called Old San Juan and named Puerto Rico Rich Port.

It was carefully planned as the main city square and has served as a social meeting place for generations. The city includes more than carefully restored 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial buildings. This is a year-old neighborhood originally conceived as a military stronghold. Open Mon-Fri 8am - 4pm, except holidays. Plazuela de la Rogativa Plaza of Religious Procession was built infeatures a modern sculpture depicting a procession of religious women commemorates an event that took place on the site in During the spring of that year, a fleet of British ships led San Juan first date under Sir Ralph Ambercrombie sailed into San Juan Bay, meaning to launch an assault on the city and take control of the colony.

Open Mon-Sat am - 4pm, Sun mass at pm; The Capilla del Cristo Cristo Chapel was built in the 18th century The stories surrounding the history of this small chapel conflict wildly except on one point: someone on horseback took a terrible spill off the cliffs at the end of Calle Cristo. This park overlooks the restored La Princesa Jail, now a government office with an attractive art gallery.

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It rose feet, covering 27 acres of land. As the towns people began to despair of any help from soldiers garrisoned in the inland towns, the governor ordered a rogativa, or divine entreaty, to ask the saints for assistance. The original church on these grounds had wooden walls and a thatched roof. The building was the first of a series of military facilities constructed in the Bay of San Juan, but soon later proved inadequate to guard the entrance to the harbor, and became the official Governor's Residence. Over time, the city's poorer residents established their homes there.

San Juan first date oldest governor's mansion still used as such in Western Hemisphere and part of the old city's World Heritage Site. The port is one of the busiest in the Caribbean. As if its size and height weren't sufficient to intimidate enemies, its intricate modular de was sure to foil them. Residents have defended their right to keep their homes despite goverment efforts to get them to move and transform the area to increase tourism revenue. San Juan is the largest processing center of the island, the metropolitan area has facilities for petroleum and sugar refining, brewing and distilling and produces cement, pharmaceuticals, metal products clothing, and tobacco.

It has the distinction of being the largest fortification in the Caribbean. Today, San Juan is known as La Ciudad Amurallada the walled city and is one of the biggest and best natural harbors in the Caribbean and is the second oldest European-founded city in theAmericas after Santo Domingo, which was officially founded on August 5, During the early 16th century, San Juan was the point of departure of Spanish expeditions to charter or settle unknown parts of the New World.

The fort is a maze of tunnels, dungeons, barracks, outposts and ramps. The section erected inthe Main Chapel or Sanctuary, is an excellent example of 16th century Spanish Gothic architecture. San Juan Cathedral still holds religious services on a regular schedule. Although the original structure Palatial San Juan first date surrounded by gardens was very primitive, La Fortaleza has undergone numerous changes over its years of history. Open Mon-Fri ampm; guided tours in English on the hour, in Spanish every 30 minutes, ext.

Access to the official areas is not permitted. The streets here are paved with cobbles of adoquine, a blue stone cast from furnace slag; they were brought over a ballast on Spanish ships and time and moisture have lent them their characteristic color. He founded the original settlement in Caparra, now known as Pueblo Viejo, behind the almost land-locked harbor just to the west of the present metropolitan area and the city quickly became Spain's most important military outpost in the Caribbean.

The women of the town formed a procession through the streets, carrying torches and ringing bells. It has been the home of governors of Puerto Rico and is the official residence of the current governor. When the attack was foiled, they undertook a naval blockade of San Juan, hoping to starve the residents into submission.

A strategic masterpiece, it features five independent units, each connected by moat and tunnel; each fully self-sufficient should the others fall. La Fortaleza also known as the Palacio de Santa Catalina began construction in and finalized the 25 of May ofas a fortress. A major reconstruction was undertaken in Inthe building was remodeled and given a palatial aspect, uniting harmoniously 16th century military architecture with the refinements of the 19th century.

El Morro is studded with small, circular sentry boxes called garitas that have become a national symbol.

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Rising feet above the sea, its foot-thick wall proved a formidable defense. Old San Juan is a main spot for local and internal tourism and attracts many tourists, who also enjoy the gambling casinos, fine beaches, and tropical climate. The history of San Juan begins a long time before its official foundation, induring his second voyage, Christopher Columbus landed in Puerto Rico.

The trolley runs every day Monday through Friday from 7am until 6pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9am until 7pm every 15 minutes. Built in completed inwas considered the Gibraltar of the West Indies. Open Tues-Sun am - pm. Its fortifications repulsed the English navigator Sir Francis Drake inas well as later attacks. The beautiful Campeche paintings and altar inside can be seen through the church's glass doors.

A leisurely foot tour is advisable for those who really want to experience this bit of the Old World, especially given the narrow, steep streets and frequently heavy traffic. The British, hearing the commotion and seeing the moving lights, decided that reinforcements had arrived and quickly sailed off.

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In the 's the building was heavily remodeled providing its present day facade intended by its builders to be an exact replica of Madrid's. Rent the Bicycle, The plaza is skirted by a of historic buildings. Free tours are available daily.

San Juan is the capital and most populous city in Puerto Rico. Open daily from 9am to 6pm; The Santa Elena Battery building with a long chimney-topped bunker was the formal army storage area. It was authorized to be built by Charles V as a defense against Carib Indian attacks. The building has a tourism information center and a small gallery for periodic exhibitions.

Construction began in and the building was inaugurated on February 11, Guided tours by appointment only, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, ext. The monumental totemic sculpture in black granite and ceramics symbolizes the earthen and clay roots of American history and is the work of Jaime Suarez, one of Puerto Rico's foremost artists. This Cathedral is an authentic and rare New World example of medieval architecture.

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More tourists visit San Juan each year than any other spot in the Caribbean. Old San Juan provides a free trolley service to get you around the city. Sometime during the s, confusion over the names led to a switch, the island took the name of Puerto Rico and the town became San Juan.

It fell only once, into a land assault by the Earl of Cumberland's forces.

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This plaza is the cornerstone of Puerto Rico's commemoration of the th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of the New World, has a sculpture which rises 12 meters 40 feet. Tours last about 40 minutes. Originally called the Church and Monastery of Saint Thomas Aquinas, it was built by Dominican friars to serve as the monastery's church and chapel dedicated to Saint Thomas Aquinas.

The law required to be established away from the main city zone; in Old San Juan's case, outside the city walls. It is the perfect spot from which to enjoy a magnificent view of the harbor, city and mountains. It is also a great choice for families with small children; kids will enjoy interacting with the local pigeons.

La Perla is a historical ramshackle barrio astride the northern historic city wall of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, stretching about yards m along the rocky San Juan first date coast immediately east of the Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery and down the slope from north of Calle Norzagaray. James Square was renamed in to honor Christopher Columbus on the th anniversary of his discovery of Puerto Rico; bronze tablets at the pedestal of the Columbus statue record important episodes in the explorer's life. El Capitolio Capitol Building of Puerto Rico hold the offices of senators on one wing and those of representatives on the other, with galleries, friezes, mosaics and an impressive rotunda in which Puerto Rico's constitution is exhibited.

Its 7-square-block area has evolved into a charming residential and commercial district. Features four statues representing the four seasons; all are over years old. The construction of the Castillo San Felipe del Morro began in when King Charles V of Spain authorized its construction, including the surrounding walls and completed in Most of the walls in the fort today were added later, in a period of tremendous construction from the 's's.