The Viejo San Juan on the island of Puerto Rico was reluctantly founded by the famous Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León in 1519. With time, thanks to its advantageous geographic location, the center flourished and became the punta de lanza (point of the spear) of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. The Distrito Histórico del Viejo/Old San Juan Historic District is the second oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Western Hemisphere. Conceived as the capital of the island of Puerto Rico and known for centuries as the ciudad del puerto Rico (the city of the rich port), it is the oldest urban core in the island and the United States of America. The oldest house, Christian temple, executive mansion, convent and military defenses in the United States are found in this exceptional core. Some of its components-the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, Castillo de san Cristóbal, circuit of defensive walls, and Palace de Santa Catalina-are considered part of the cultural heritage of humanity and were included in the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List in 1983.
Read the full file on the Distrito Histórico del Viejo San Juan--Old San Juan Historic District (Boundary Increase)
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