San Juan

Puerto Rico

  • Inhabitants - 395 thousand in 2010 and 98% of them are Hispanic or Latin
  • Situated- a little north of equator and surrounded by the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean sea
  • Founded in 1509 but named in 1521 and till 1898 belong to spain but now it belongs to USA
  • Temperature is average 25-29 all year round and is highly humid

Points of interest

Old San Juan

This is a 465-year-old neighborhood originally conceived as a military stronghold. Its 7-square-block area has evolved into a charming residential and commercial district. The streets here are paved with cobbles of adoquine. The city includes more than 400 carefully restored 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial buildings. The Old San Juan attracts many tourists, who also enjoy the gambling casinos, fine beaches, and tropical climate. More tourists visit San Juan each year than any other spot in the Caribbean.Due to steep and narrow street and heavy traffic touring the city is advised on foot.

Old San Juan has several plazas:

  • Plaza de San José / Plaza del Quinto Centenario (Quincentennial Square). At its center stands the bronze statue of Ponce de León, made from a British cannons captured in during Sir Ralph Abercromby's attack 1797. The plaza is skirted by a number of historic buildings.
  • Plaza de Armas (Arms Square) Features four statues representing the four seasons; all are over 100 years old.
  • Plaza de Colón (Columbus Square) was originally called St. James Square was renamed in 1893 to honor Christopher Columbus on the 400th anniversary of his discovery of Puerto Rico; bronze tablets at the pedestal of the Columbus statue record important episodes in the explorer's life.
  • Plazuela de la Rogativa (Plaza of Religious Procession) was built in 1971, features a modern sculpture depicting a procession of religious women commemorates an event that took place on the site in 1797.
  • Plaza de Hostos

Forts and Castles:

  • San Felipe del Morro – commonly known as El Morro It has the distinction of being the largest fortification in the Caribbean. In 1992, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Puerto Rico by Christopher Columbus, the fortress was restored to its historical architectural grace and beauty. El Morro Fortress is a National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service. The construction began in 1540 ,including the surrounding walls and completed in 1589 but most of the walls in the fort today were added later between the 1760's-1780's.
  • Castillo de San Cristóbal (San Cristóbal Fort)
  • Fuerte San Gerónimo (San Gerónimo Fort)
  • Santa Elena Battery

Political and Religios buildings:

  • La Fortaleza also known as the Palacio de Santa Catalina
  • Alcaldia (San Juan's City Hall)
  • El Capitolio (Capitol Building of Puerto Rico)
  • Catedral de San Juan (San Juan Cathedral)
  • Iglesia de San José (San José Church)
  • Capilla del Cristo (Cristo Chapel)
  • Teatro Tapia (Tapia Theater)
  • Centro de Bellas Artes (Fine Arts Center)
  • Escuela de Artes Plásticas (School of Fine Arts)

Museums:

  • San Juan Museum of Art and History was built in 1855 as a market and restored in 1979 as a cultural center, showcases Puerto Rico art and music, including concerts and festivals.
  • Casa de los Dos Zaguanes (House of the Two Foyers) is home of the Museo del Indio (Museum of the Indian) and features exhibits on the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean region, with exhibits, ceramics and archaeological digs.
  • Asilo de Beneficencia (Home for the Poor) was built 1840s for the indigent people. Today houses the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (Institute of Puerto Rican Culture) offering exhibits galleries every day, features an impressive collection of artifacts from pre-European Puerto Rico, including pottery, stone tools and relics, and a recreation of a Taíno village.
  • Convento de los Dominicos (Dominican Convent)
  • Pablo Casals Museum
  • Casa Blanca (White House)

San Juan Beach & Resort area. This area starts just outside of Old San Juan and includes the areas of Condado, Miramar, Ocean Park and Isla Verde. This is a area of fancy hotels, casinos, nightclubs, restaurants and chic boutiques.

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