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San Juan Historical Attractions

Capitolio
Avenida Ponce de Leon
San Juan, PR 00901
(787) 721 6040
Built on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, El Capitolio is in the Puerta de Tierra district near Old San Juan and contains both chambers; the Senate and the House of Representatives. Members of both houses have offices in respective annexes to the main building. The rotunda features the original copy of the Constitution of Puerto Rico, signed in 1952.

Cathedral de San Juan
153 Calle Cristo
San Juan, PR 00901
(787) 722 0861
A favorite stop for tourists, this marvelous cathedral was built in 1592, on the same site of the previous cathedral that was destroyed by a hurricane around 1584. Located on Calle Cristo, this gothic and neoclassical structure is situated in front of the historic Hotel El Convento in the heart of Old San Juan, and the Plazuela de Las Monjas. Besides the cathedral’s religious significance, history buffs can view the relics of Ponce de León that are preserved here in a marble crypt.

El Morro
501 Calle Norzagaray
San Juan, PR 00901
(787) 729-6777
www.nps.gov/saju
With a history that dates 500 years, this stone structure truly deserves its place of honor in the National Historic Register. The English and the Dutch attacked the Morro repeatedly in its time. Located on the San Juan Bay, the six-story fort was originally constructed in 1540, although its exterior walls were not erected for another 200 years. Inside the walls is a veritable labyrinth of chambers, barracks, hallways and prison cells. The fort was given a complete facelift in 1992.

Fort San Cristobal
Calle Norzagaray
San Juan, PR 00901
(787) 729-6960
Located on the northeast corner of Old San Juan, Fort Cristobal is one of the largest fortresses ever built in the Americas. Construction commenced in 1634 and the fort was redesigned in the 19th century. With its impressive walls reaching over 100 feet above the crashing waves, its primary function was to guard San Juan against land attacks. San Cristobal is attached to El Morro by colossal walls filled with cannon-firing positions.

Puerta de San Juan
Near Caleta de las Monjas
San Juan, PR 00901
This is the most important entry to the old city. It faces the San Juan Bay exit and is accessed via the Paseo de la Princesa. If you are walking from the Caleta Las Monjas Street, it offers an excellent view of the bay and nearby Isla de Cabras. The Paseo de la Princesa opens up to an impressive view of La Fortaleza, the Governor’s mansion. To the north, one can find the colonial-style streets. The Puerta is a wonderful vantage point to view the city.