Forts El Morro and San Cristóbal along with 2.5 miles of city wall complete a fortification system that protected Puerto Rico, San Juan harbor and much of Spain’s interests in the “New World” from pirates and foreign invasion. Spain spent over 250 years building and fortifying this system considered “state of the art” for it’s time. Builders used the best engineering and architectural technology available at the time. Through this defense system, Spain controlled all access to the Caribbean Mexico and South America. San Juan harbor was the first major port ships would pass  which could provide supplies such as water, food, etc.  Ships would stop here for provisions before continuing on to Mexico or South America.


El Morro Fort

El Morro Child Friendly handprint

Castillo San Felipe de Morro is a 16th century fortress. The Spanish constructed it to guard the entrance to San Juan Bay.  Construction of the fort started in 1540 and took 49 years to build.  In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Spanish built additions to the fort.  It is a maze of barracks, tunnels, outposts, lookouts, dungeons, vaults and ramps just waiting to be explored. To learn more about El Morro click here.
San Cristobal Fort

Castillo de San Cristóbal  Child Friendly handprint

Construction on the fort began in 1634 and took over a century to complete.  Constructed to fortify Spain’s defense of Old San Juan’s harbor, the fort protected the island from land attacks. It boasts walls that rise 150 above the sea, covers an expansive 27 acres of land, and has five separate independent units that inter connects via tunnels.   To learn more about Castillo de San Cristóbal click here.

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