El Castillo San Felipe del Morro (Fort El Morro), San Juan

El Castillo San Felipe del Morro (Fort El Morro), San Juan (must see)

Fort San Felipe del Morro, aka El Morro, is a 16th century citadel on the northwestern-most point of San Juan, named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. It was the second military installation, after La Fortaleza, built on the islet of what is now Old San Juan and Puerta de Tierra.

The construction commenced in 1539, authorized by King Charles V, and was finished in 1790, during which period El Morro had gone from a promontory mounted with a cannon to a six-level fortress designed to guard the entrance to San Juan bay from seaborne invaders. Many more structures were added to the complex over the next 400 years; the outer walls, originally built 6 feet (1.8 m) thick, were augmented to 18 feet (5.5 m) by the end of the 18th century.

Thanks to El Morro, the Spanish were able to defend Puerto Rico from invasions by the British and Dutch, as well as pirates. In 1898, following the Spanish-American War, the island changed hands from Spain to the United States. El Morro was actively used as a military installation during the First and Second World Wars.

In 1961, the US Army retired El Morro, passing it on to the National Park Service to establish as a museum. In 1983, El Morro and the walled-city of Old San Juan were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Why You Should Visit:
To appreciate the importance of Puerto Rico as a strategic entry point to the Americas and the evolution of El Morro over the last five centuries.

Tips:
The receipt also allows to visit the Castillo San Cristóbal without having to pay a separate entrance fee (and vice versa).

Operating Hours:
Seven days a week from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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 iTunes App Store or Google Play. 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 Castillo San Felipe del Morro (Fort El Morro) on Map

Sight Name: El Castillo San Felipe del Morro (Fort El Morro)
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.
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 walking tour!

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

San Juan Historical Buildings

San Juan was founded by the Spanish in 1521, which makes it the third oldest European-established capital city on the American continent. Owning to its long history, the old town of San Juan is filled to the brim with heritage colonial buildings.

Chief among them, La Fortaleza is the longest-standing executive mansion in continuous use in America, whereas the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista is...  view more

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

Old San Juan Walking Tour

Founded by Spanish colonists in 1521, who called it "Rich Port City", San Juan is the third oldest European-established capital city in the Americas and the oldest one in the U.S. territories.

During the Spanish colonial times, most of the city population resided in what is now known as Old San Juan. Today, this part of the town is a lovely historical area renowned for its narrow...  view more

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

Souvenir Shopping

Puerto Rico was colonized by Spain following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493. Among the crafts that followed the Spanish to the island was mundillo, a kind of decorative lace made of wooden bobbins. Over the next few centuries, the mundillo craft flourished on the island and today is one of the most popular local products sought after by visitors.

Being Caribbean, the country also...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles

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13 Distinctively Puerto Rican Goods to Bring Home from San Juan

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