San Juan, Puerto
With almost 500 years of history behind it, San Juan, Puerto Rico is one of the oldest cities flying the U.S. Flag.
Puerto Rico (the island) was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and the port city of San Juan eventually became an important intermediary stop were almost all European ships would restock before making their long trans-Atlantic crossing back to Europe.
In fact, on their way back to Spain, Spanish Galleons would pass through San Juan loaded with gold and booty from Mexico and South America.
Without question, Old San Juan is one of the gems of the Caribbean with its colorful style and fascinating history
Old San Juan Photos (Page 1)
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Welcoming flags in Old San Juan.
Street art in colorful Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
A welcoming patio door in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Statue in a park, Old San Juan.
Puerto Rico's geographic position at the western edge of the Caribbean made San Juan one of the key frontier outposts of Spain's West Indies dominions, and the unofficial symbol of San Juan is undoubtedly the Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Positioned on a hill, this Spanish fort was built by Spain to protect against water-based attacks on the city and it is part of San Juan National Historic Site.
In stylish "Old San Juan," many streets are on the hilly side, and this one is typical.
It is really striking how the Puerto Ricans use such bright, distinctive pastel colors on many of their buildings.
Most of the narrow streets in Old San Juan are paved with adoquines, or blue cobblestone pavers, which were made with iron furnace slag that, according to historians, was part of the ballast of Spain's sugar-carrying-ships. Subjected to time, weather and traffic, the pavers have developed a very characteristic shiny blue-gray hue.
A 45-foot-high wall once surrounded San Juan. This was one of the official entrances for those who came to Puerto Rico on wooden sailing ships during the colonization. This is the last gate standing in Old San Juan.
"La Rogativa", a statue overlooking the Bay of San Juan commemorates the ingenuity of the Puerto Rican people. Back in the 1700's ,San Juan's Port was a desirable strategic point to control the Caribbean and many powers wanted to rule it. When the English launched a naval attack to take possession of the city by night, the local Bishop came up with a brilliant plan that sent the invaders on a retreat. He gathered all the women and children and formed a procession. They all carried torches, and from the English's viewpoint they appeared to be legions of armed soldiers. Consequently, they made an about face, thinking it not worth their while to launch an attack on this well protected city.
La Perla is a colorful and historic community astride the northern historic city wall of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, stretching about 650 yards (600 m) along the rocky Atlantic coast immediately east of the Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery. Reports indicate it can be a dangerous place for tourists, but it sure is photogenic.
Puerto Rico has a wonderful climate, and flowers grow throughout the year. I spotted these on water's edge in Old San Juan.