El Arsenal (The Arsenal), San Juan

El Arsenal (The Arsenal), San Juan

Located on La Puntilla Street, El Arsenal was built in 1791 as a Spanish naval station. Later the building became a citadel, which contained a storage room, offices, living sectors, workshops, a coast guard, kitchens and its own chapel. It features a combination of architectural styles and is now home to three exposition galleries.

The Arsenal played an interesting role in the American-Spanish War in the latest 19th century. After the United States invaded Puerto Rico in 1898 and defected the Spanish army, the island was ceded to the US as part of the Treaty of Paris. The US military allowed the remaining Spanish troops to remain in the Arsenal until they could be transported out of the Island, so Arsenal was the last place where the Spanish Empire in the Americas.

There are still some old canons on display at the Arsenal. The place offers an awesome view of the harbor - it is a fantastic spot for taking Instagram photos!

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in San Juan. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. 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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El Arsenal (The Arsenal) on Map

Sight Name: El Arsenal (The Arsenal)
Sight Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico (See walking tours in San Juan)
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.
San Juan Historical Buildings

San Juan Historical Buildings

One of the oldest capital cities on the American continent, San Juan, Puerto Rico, boasts an old town that is filled to the brim with heritage colonial architecture.

Chief among its historical buildings, La Fortaleza, or The Fortress, is the official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico and the longest-standing executive mansion in continuous use in America. At the same time, the Cathedral...  view more

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 multitude of quaint picturesque squares, many of them adorned with beautiful fountains and spectacular monuments. Each square has a unique character and historical significance, making them integral to the city's identity.

Plaza Colon, also known as Columbus Square, pays homage to Christopher Columbus and his exploration of the New World. It...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Old San Juan Walking Tour

Old San Juan Walking Tour

Founded by Spanish colonists in 1509, at a site then known as "Puerto Rico" (which means Rich Port in Spanish), San Juan is the third oldest capital in the Americas established by Europeans. In 1521, the words "San Juan" were added to its official name, thus making it "San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico". This was in keeping with the custom of christening the town with...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

The arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493 and the ensuing Spanish colonization brought into Puerto Rico a number of new crafts. Over the next few centuries, having mixed up with local traditions, they have flourished on the new turf, producing an array of colorful products that today are sought after by tourists visiting the island. While in San Juan, it would be a pity to leave town without...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 Km or 0.4 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


13 Distinctively Puerto Rican Goods to Bring Home from San Juan

13 Distinctively Puerto Rican Goods to Bring Home from San Juan

The uniqueness of Puerto Rico is partially associated with its political status - part of the United States yet with a Latin twist. Other than their widely-acknowledged musical talents, e.g. Carlos Santana and Ricky Martin, Puerto Rico is just as rich in many other good things. When you're in...