. Knowing about the threat from pirates and corsairs, such as Francois LeClerc, Francis Drake or John Hawkins, constantly patrolling the coastal waters in the hope of finding treasure, the Spanish government began a serious fortification of
in 1521. El Morro fortress was erected for a short time before showcasing its strength during the British attacks in 1595. This is the oldest Spanish fortress of the New World. In good weather (and the weather here is almost always good :)), kite lovers gather at the fortress. And in the evening, the fortress is beautifully illuminated!
But we didn't visit the fortress itself because first, we went to another fortress - San Cristobal, it was the first one on our way. Therefore, here are pictures of San Cristobal. It's one of the most important fortresses of the Old Town. It was built to stop attacks from the land side. The construction began in 1634. At first glance, the fortresses look like blocks of stone, but there were a lot of different halls, tunnels, and rooms. It was an interesting tour, by the way :)
We entered the fortress through the tunnel.
Here are the historical uniforms of officers and soldiers . . .
And pay attention to the knotted ribbons on the shoes... Oh, how cute :) I'm glad they weren't pink.
Everything was built so firmly. This well leads to a water tank underneath. It can hold 800,000 gallons of water, and it was enough to provide water for a whole garrison for 1 year!
And then we headed toward the waterfront! Plazuela de la Rogativa is a small park, with a garden and a sculpture of a priest and some women. It's dedicated to the priest who protected people from the British in 1797. This cunning priest decided to deceive the British and called residents of the city to help him. In the dead of night, a procession of people carrying torches rushed around the city chaotically, constantly ringing bells, thus deceiving the entire British fleet of 50 ships. They turned around and sailed away because they thought that the Spaniards had brought their troops...
We continued further...
Here's La Casita.
Here's the promenade - Paseo de la Princesa.
El Arsenal was a former fortress. If memory serves, it is now the institute of culture.
This cheerful saleswoman offered a variety of local sweets for $1 a piece. These pieces were very small though . . . . I tried arroz con dulce, which was very similar to sweets made for Christmas in northern Europe.
We also found this interesting monument, dedicated to immigrants! Perhaps it is not the only monument of its kind in the New World, but it was a first for me.
There was a huge number of cats in San Juan! I was pleased by the fact that they looked well-fed and groomed :)
Puerto Ricans certainly love cats.
Look, they even erected monuments to them!