Tag Archives: El Morro

San Juan, the walled city

Standard

Puerto Rico’s San Juan is a microcosm of the history of the Americas. First sighted by Europeans on Columbus’s second trip to the New World in 1493, the island became the gateway to Spain’s American empire. It was the easternmost island large enough to supply plentiful food and water to Spanish ships sailing from home to the Caribbean and beyond to the riches of Mexico and South America. San Juan remained Spain’s mightiest stronghold in the area for the next 350 years, only briefly occupied by the English in 1598 and by the Dutch in 1625, until Puerto Rico became a U.S. possession following the 1898 Spanish-American War. Read the rest of this entry