Archive for the 'San Juan' Category
The Beginnings of El Morro
Here on El Morro’s second level you are standing inside the oldest part of this giant fortification. The walls you see here date back to 1539.
When the earlier fortifications in San Juan proved inadequate, Spain decided to fortify the city’s harbor entrance. A circular tower was designed and built to hold four cannon overlooking the channel mouth. You can see three original embrasures (gunports) in front of you.
As threats from enemies grew in the 17th century, so did the fortification. Eventually the massive fortress engulfed the original tower.
Other Features to Notice
Projectile in Wall – During the U.S. bombardment of San Juan in 1898, a shell penetrated the tower’s wall. Fragments of the shell are still lodged overhead in the wall to your right, a visible reminder of the Spanish-American War.
Water Battery – The stairway to your left leads to the Water Battery on El Morro’s first level. The Water Battery was designed for low-trajectory cannon fire at the hulls of wooden ships.