San Felipe del Morro Castle
Visiting Old San Juan
San Felipe del Morro, which means “promontory.” Was built to protect the entrance to San Juan, by the invaders of the XV1 century. This castle is the largest fortification in the New World.
It was built in 1539 and was just a simple tower, with a design that was modified several decades later, in 1587 by Juan de Tejada and Juan Bautista Antonelli to turn it into an incredible Spanish military fortification established at the time and that was respected by all.
El Morro only fell once, in 1598, when the Earl of Cumberland took the fortress by land.
1898; El Morro fought its final battle when the United States Navy bombarded the fort during the Spanish. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, in which Spain ceded ownership of the island of Puerto Rico to the United States. After this battle Puerto Rico became a commonwealth.
A lighthouse that was damaged and repaired by the U.S. in 1906-08 stands out in stark contrast to the rest of the structure. During World War II, the U.S. Army added another entirely incongruous fortification, installing a military bunker on the top level.
1942; as part of the USA’s Second World War preparation, El Morro was fortified with a concrete artillery observation posts and an underground bunker.
1961; the United States Army officially retired from El Morro. The “fort” became a part of the National Park Service to be preserved as museums.
1983; the Castillo and the city walls were declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.
“The Morro Fort” at this time is one of the most important historical monuments of Old San Juan.
You will find a lot of history, architecture, beautiful scenery and entertainment for children on the outside.
The fort is made up of six staggered levels, incorporating dungeons, barracks, passageways, and storerooms. Walk along its ramparts, where cannons still face the ocean, and step inside one of the domed “garitas”, or sentry boxes, which are themselves an iconic symbol of Puerto Rico.
Looking out across the bay, you’ll see another, smaller fortification. Called El Cañuelo, this was El Morro’s partner in the island’s defense: ships hoping to attack Puerto Rico would be cut down in a barrage of crisscrossing cannon fire. Two modern structures were added to
Now a Word Heritage site it is one of Puerto Rico’s most iconic structures. Facing the Atlantic Ocean and situated in what is now known as Old San Juan, the capital city’s historic district, El Morro bridges the past with the present.
Once inside the fortress you will be given a brief video about the history of the fortress so that you can see and see the importance of the construction and how it was important in all the battles. The video is shown in English and Spanish. If you do not want to see the video then you can take a map and explore everything you have to show you this magnificent fortification.
The Main Square of El Morro which was the area where troops gathered for parades and daily inspection, is at the entrance. The well in the center of the square is also a nice place and can take a year to fill with rainwater. The surrounding rooms look out to the sides and were used as houses, storage tanks, gunpowder deposits, for cells or to shoot positions.
On the upper level, there find the air vents that provide fresh air to the rooms below. On the upper level you can also find the lighthouse that was rebuilt in 1908.
Apart from its great history, visiting this fort is spectacular because of its impressive view, the familiar atmosphere, and the beautiful photos that you can take from there.
Today this World Heritage Site is a MUST SEE for visitors, also it has accessibility for people with mobility problems.
Keep in mind that you can visit Puerto Rico without spending a lot of money if you choose a budget hotel, and use public transportation.
Dreams Hotel Miramar, offers you a good stay in a green and very clean hotel.
Where: Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
When: 7 days/week from 9:00am – 6:00pm.
Closed New Year Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Cost: Adults $5, $7 for combined forts El Morro and San Cristobal, Children under 15 Free
Map It: You can find El Morro Fort on our interactive map here
Dreams Hotel Miramar +1-787-688-5818