Old San Juan
Old San Juan was built by the Spaniards in the 15th century as a new city that could be defended and served as the cradle of power in the island. It was modeled after European arquitecture of the time and heavily defended by several large forts, the biggest being Castillo San Felipe del Morro or commonly known as “El Morro”.
El Morro is the only gothic architecture in the the “new world” designed by Battista Antonelli, an Italian who served under King Phillip I of Spain. It was originally designed with outer walls 6ft (1.8m) thick yet it was augmented in the 18th century to 18ft (5.5m). It was never conquered and the only temporary occupation of Old San Juan was by the Dutch and English. Later in 1898 the Americans would shoot and conquer Puerto Rico after the Spanish-American War.
El Morro and Old San Juan could be considered the “Nuclear deterrent” of its age, a crown jewel of the Spanish crown until being handed over to the Americans in 1989. Its an amazing city, rich in history from the 15th century, World War I and today (first American shot of World War I was in Old San Juan towards a German U-Boat). These pictures convey the magic held within Old San Juan streets.
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