El Galpon, San Juan

El Galpon, San Juan

The festival of the Three Kings is probably more celebrated in Puerto Rico than even Christmas. In almost every crafts store in San Juan, you will find shelves of wood carved saints or “santos” in all sizes and styles, most often representative of the Three Kings. Historically, these wood images of saints were used as objects for prayer.

Today, the saints represent an important part of Puerto Rican culture. When the Spanish arrived on the island in the late 1400’s, these representations of saints were used to help in efforts to convert to Catholicism the indigenous people of the island – at first the Taino Indians and later the slaves from Western Africa. Saint carvings eventually evolved to become more a part of the art culture leaving behind much of the religious attachments.

These statuettes can be simple or ornately painted and can be hung on the wall or can stand on their own. You can find these wood carvings of saints at many shops throughout San Juan but El Galpon located in a little alley right off one of the main shopping streets, has a special collection displayed along the wall and the shop’s owner will give you a history about the saints and their origins. Price: $45-$1,000.00

What to buy here: Wood Carvings of Saints.
Image Courtesy of Stacey Hocheiser.

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El Galpon on Map

Sight Name: El Galpon
Sight Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico (See walking tours in San Juan)
Sight Type: Shopping
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 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.

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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
San Juan Historical Buildings

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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
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


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