I’ve just returned home from the annual Cayamo Cruise, which proved, once again, to be more incredible than each one prior (this year having been our fifth experience). More on that trip to come, but I could’t wait to share some photos I took at my favorite stop…San Juan Puerto Rico. We opted to get off the ship & explore Old San Juan by foot, which proved to be a real treat!
As you peruse the images below, note that you can click on them to see full size images in a slideshow format…
Castillo de San Cristóbal
The Castillo de San Cristóbal is a Spanish fort in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was built by Spain to protect against land based attacks on the city of San Juan. It is part of San Juan National Historic Site.
Castillo de San Cristóbal is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World. When it was finished in 1783, it covered about 27 acres of land and basically wrapped around the city of San Juan. Entry to the city was sealed by San Cristóbal’s double gates. After close to one hundred years of relative peace in the area, part of the fortification (about a third) was demolished in 1897 to help ease the flow of traffic in and out of the walled city.
This fortress was built on a hill originally known as the Cerro de la Horca or the Cerro del Quemadero, which was changed to Cerro de San Cristóbal in celebration of the Spanish victories ejecting English and Dutch interlopers from the island of this name in the Lesser Antilles, then forming part of the insular territorial glacis of Puerto Rico. (via Wikipedia)
Castillo San Felipe del Morro
Castillo San Felipe del Morro also known as Fort San Felipe del Morro or Morro Castle, is a 16th-century citadel located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Lying on the northwestern-most point of the islet of Old San Juan, Castillo San Felipe del Morro is named in honor of KingPhilip II of Spain. The fortification, also referred to as el Morro or ‘the promontory, was designed to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay, and defend the Spanish colonial port city of San Juan from seaborne enemies.
In 1983, the el Castillo was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in conjunction with the San Juan National Historic Site. Over two million visitors a year explore the windswept ramparts and passageways making the castillo one ofPuerto Rico’s main visitor attractions. Facing the structure, on the opposite side of the bay, a smaller fortification known as El Cañuelo complemented the castillo’s defense of the entrance to the bay. (via Wikipedia)
Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery
Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery is a colonial-era cemetery located in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is the final resting place of many of Puerto Rico’s most prominent natives and residents. Construction began in 1863 under the auspices of Ignacio Mascaro. The cemetery is located outside the walls of Fort San Felipe del Morro fortress, one of the island’s most famous landmarks. The average height of the wall is 40 feet and the width ranges from 15 to 20 feet. It was named in honor of Saint Maria Magdalena de Pazzi.
According to Rafael Rodríguez, Chaplain and director of pastoral services at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón located in the Santurce district of the capital, the location of the cemetery is central to the Puerto Rican belief in the separation of death and life. The colonial Spanish government at the time construction of the cemetery commenced, viewed death with fear because it was a mystery. Therefore, they decided to build the cemetery to overlook the Atlantic Ocean to symbolize the spirit’s journey to cross over to the afterlife. (via Wikipedia)
The Streets of Old San Juan
After touring the forts & cemetary, we wandered the colorful cobblestone lined streets of Old San Juan on our way back to the ship…
And of course…we were on a cruise, so there was no avoiding this…as we neared the ship, we received a text from our friends Rena, Steph & Bridgette asking us to meet them at Señor Frogs. And here is what we encountered: