Sunday, February 28, 2010

Puerto Rico's Fort San Cristobal

One of the reasons why I wanted to visit Puerto Rico was because of the historical Old San Juan and to understand what the island's role in the Spanish-American War (1898). On our first day, we visited Fort San Cristobal.

This huge fortress, begun in 1634 and reengineered in the 1770's, is one of the largest ever built in the America's by Spain. Its walls rise more than 150 feet above the sea - a marvel military engineering. San Cristobal protected San Juan against attackers coming by land as a partner to El Morro (post coming soon about El Morro), to which it is linked by a half-mile of monumental walls and bastions filled with cannon-firing positions. A complex system of tunnels and dry moats connects the center of San Cristobal to its "outworks," defensive elements arranged layer after layer over 27-acre site. (John Marino, Frommer's Puerto Rico, 160)

A part of history merges with the everyday life
Fort San Cristobal
A former strategic battle fortress, now a historical monument
Entrance to San Cristobal
Peeking into history
The Puerto Rican flag (middle)
If you're a watch soldier now, this is your view inside from one of the bunkers
Another view from the same bunker (above)
Walls that have witnessed war, history and time
A tunnel of tunnels

A cannon used to be here

San Cristobal peeking into Old San Juan
Leaving San Cristobal

Fort San Cristobal is a historian's delight. Experiencing and walking through history is one way to spend the warm, balmy afternoons in Old San Juan. Believe me, it's worth the sweat and achy feet.

In 1898 the first shots of the Spanish-American War in Puerto Rico were fired by cannons on top of San Cristobal during an artillery duel with a U.S. Navy fleet. (Marino, 160)


  1. "worth the sweat and achy feet." that's what i always tell myself at the end of the day when i'm on the road. hahaha

    i'm glad you enjoyed your vacation, kayni. :)

  2. this is just perfect for you history buff. the pics are magnificent. ganda ganda doon ah.

  3. Very nice! They look like old paintings. Reminds me of the movie "Frida."

  4. those are nice pics! it's like were there!

    from the looks of the buildings, that fort must be really old. how nice it must be to "walk in history." the first pic is amusing because it really is a contrast of old and new: a basketball court beside the walls of the fort! he! he!

  5. Nice! Thanks for the virtual tour of such a significant place steeped in Puerto Rican history. :)

  6. thanks for sharing your pictures kayni! para na rin kaming nag tour. :)