Ranchos Camulos

Ranchos Camulos San Juan National Historic Site
NPS Photograph
An island on the periphery of the "New World" empire, Puerto Rico served as a Spanish fortress designed to protect Spain's American holdings. San Juan National Historic Site, administered by the National Park Service, includes forts, bastions, powder houses, wall and El Cañuelo Fort, also called San Juan de la Cruz–defensive fortifications that once surrounded the old, colonial portion of San Juan, Puerto Rico. El Cañuelo Fort is located at El Cañuelo Island at the western end of the entrance to San Juan Bay. Sections of the massive sandstone walls, dating to the 1630s, remain; so, too, do the San Cristóboal and San Felipe del Morro forts. San Juan had the first municipal government in the "New World," outside Santo Domingo, as well as the first military presidio in Spanish America. By the 19th century, the old city had become a charming residential and commercial district. The city itself, with its institutional buildings, museums, houses, churches, plazas, and commercial buildings, is part of the San Juan Historic Zone which is administered by municipal, State and Federal agencies. In addition to being protected and administered by the National Park Service, the United Nations in 1983 designated San Juan National Historic Site as a World Cultural Heritage Site.

San Juan National Historic Site is also the subject of a Teaching With Historic Places lesson plan and featured in our Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands travel itinerary.

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Last Modified: Monday, 12-Sept-03 17:15:22EST