10.1.12

Garitas of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

On my trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico in December of 2011, I fell in love with the walls and garitas (or sentry boxes) of Old San Juan. The walls shown below are 18 feet thick in most places and over 100 feet tall in some points around the city. The garitas were once manned by military to keep a watch out for ships coming in on the horizon, now they are the iconic symbol of San Juan and Puerto Rico. So, here a brief history of San Juan and a few of my favorite shots of the garitas from my wanderings around the city. 


San Juan is the OLDEST CITY under the U.S. flag. It was founded in 1511 by Juan Ponce de León. The district that today is known as El Viejo San Juan or Old San Juan was the personal vision of Ponce de León. He helped plot the layout of the city, supervised the construction of its massive walls and determined which structures were to be built and where.
Situated on an easily defensible isthmus, Old San Juan is bounded by two fortresses: El Morro and Fort San Cristóbal. Many of the sites in the Old San Juan area were built in the 1500's and are National Historic Sites as well as World Historic Sites.
Old San Juan was built as a military stronghold. It is a place were you can visit 500 years of history in one day. The area covers 7 square blocks of narrow cobblestone paved streets, lined with centuries old colonial homes with distinct balconies and courtyards; fortresses, and promenade. Old San Juan's forts and city walls are among the best preserved in the hemisphere.  (taken from http://www.elboricua.com/lagarita.html)















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