Castillo San Cristóbal (Fort San Cristobal), San Juan

Castillo San Cristóbal (Fort San Cristobal), San Juan (must see)

Standing guard at the eastern gate, north of Columbus Square, is an imposing 18th century fortress, called Fort San Cristóbal. Contrary to her sister, El Morro, designed to protect from attacks by sea, the San Cristóbal guarded the city from enemy approaches by land, creating a crossfire with Del Morro over the bay. Meant to strengthen Spanish position in the face of imminent English and Dutch invasion, construction of the citadel began in 1634 on a hill originally known as Cerro de la Horca or Cerro del Quemadero.

Later it was renamed 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, which was then part of the insular territorial glacis of Puerto Rico.

When finished in 1783, the Fort San Cristóbal covered nearly 27 acres of land and practically wrapped around the whole of San Juan, with the entry to the city sealed by the San Cristóbal's double gates. After almost 100 years of relative peace, about a third of the fortification was demolished in 1897 to help ease the flow of traffic in and out of the walled city.

The Fort San Cristóbal is now a listed National Historic Site.

Why You Should Visit:
San Cristóbal is the largest fortification ever built by the Spanish in the New World, where the first shots of the Spanish-American War were fired. If you're a keen photographer, San Cristobal is a goldmine of panoramic views of the coast, from Old San Juan to Condado and beyond.

Tip:
Guided tours by local rangers visit the extensive tunnel system connecting various sections of the fort.
There is an exhibition of military clothing. Be sure to visit the overlook for the Devil's Sentry Box or the "Garita del Diablo", from which, according to legends, soldiers mysteriously disappeared. Tickets to San Cristobal or Del Morro can be used to enter either of the forts.

Operation Hours:
Everyday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of San Juan, Puerto Rico within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Castillo San Cristóbal (Fort San Cristobal) on Map

Sight Name: Castillo San Cristóbal (Fort San Cristobal)
Sight Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Create Your Own Walk in San Juan

Create Your Own Walk in San Juan

Creating your own self-guided walk in San Juan is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave San Juan without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to San Juan, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Old San Juan Walking Tour

Old San Juan Walking Tour

The old town of San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico, is a lovely historic area with a wealth of colorful Spanish colonial architecture. The most notable landmarks include 16th-century El Morro and La Fortaleza fortresses, towering over the Atlantic, and the Paseo de la Princesa bayside promenade, to mention but a few. To explore Old San Juan's most prominent sights, follow this self-guided walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
San Juan Historical Buildings

San Juan Historical Buildings

San Juan proudly features the country’s oldest quarters and historic buildings. In addition to having the oldest occupied residence in the Western Hemisphere, visitors can also admire the old City Hall, the Cristo Chapel, the historic El Arsenal and many other fascinating attractions. Take this self guided tour to see the most popular and famous historic buildings in San Juan!

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Old San Juan Squares

Old San Juan Squares

A distinctive feature of Old San Juan is the number of quaint historic squares. Many of them are adorned with beautiful fountains, prominent monuments and intricate sculptures recounting rich history of this amazing city. Check out San Juan’s most popular squares on this self-guided tour!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles

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