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Puerto Rico: El Morro

Castillo San Felipe del Morro, named in honor of King Phillip II, is located on a high promontory overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It was built to act as sentinel to the entrance of the Bay of San Juan, protecting it from seaborne enemies of the Spanish crown. Construction on the largest fortification in the Caribbean began in 1539 and was completed two hundred years later. The walls, rising 140 feet above sea level and 18 feet thick, were added during the 18th century. Sentry boxes called garitas were placed in strategic positions along the walls.

El Morro and the surrounding area of 74 acres have been designated National Historic Site and World Heritage Site.

For some gorgeous photographs of Old San Juan and the fort check Janet's photo gallery.











Comments (7)

It is truly breath-taking. I love the contrast of all that old stone with the sky and the sea. And that pink dome in the first photo! Is that a garita too?

Love all the photos and posts on Puerto Rico. It is so interesting learning about your wonderful island.

I was back in Kaneohe and Kailua yesterday and saw more of the trees with the orange/red flowers. I saw one which was more full of flowers. I am thinking they must be from the same family and wonder if they are indeed a flamboyan tree? I will have to find a tree knowledgeable person to check it out. Unfortunately most of the trees I saw were while driving so no photos.

Oh your photos are so wonderful! I have just sat and looked through all the latest, twice, while sipping my morning cappuccino. :)

Annie: El Morro is probably my favorite place in all of Old San Juan. As you said, the contrast between the fort and the blue sky and water is spectacular. And the vast green area is like a huge back yard to Puerto Ricans. It is always very windy there and the popular and traditional thing to do is fly a kite. My brothers and I flew kites there and my two kids have also flown their kites. The pink dome is a 19th century chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalene located in a cemetery. I wished I had a good picture of the cemetery and the chapel because it's a beautiful and captivating place.

Girasoli: Thanks! I read in Wikipedia that the flamboyan is grown in Hawaii. It is known by the name of Delonix Regia. Puerto Rico and Hawaii are in the same latitude so I think we have much of the same flora and fauna.

Leslie: I'll post my remarks on your blog but you already know that I also read your blog while drinking my morning cappuccino. ;-)

Thanks for the name of the tree. I am definitely going to track it down. A friend of my sister visited here many years ago after living in Puerto Rico and had the same comment. The one major difference she mentioned was that Puerto Rico was much more humid than Hawaii. I guess we are blessed with the trade winds which help keep the humidity a little bit lower most of the year.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Maria, these are great photos. It must have been wonderful growing up in such a beautiful place. I really enjoy learning about the all the history.

Thanks so much for sharing.


Brilliant photos, Marìa. And I love learning about Puerto Rico too. I had absolutely no idea it was so beautiful. And I love places with old stone forts and things. Greenery AND stonework, what more could I want?!

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