The Streets of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan from the air

Old San Juan from the air

This time two years ago I was in Puerto Rico for the first time. Since then, I’m lucky enough to have been back for a return visit. There’s so much I enjoy about the island, but without doubt my favourite spot is the historic heart of Old San Juan.

The road climbing El Campo del Morro up to Castillo San Felipe del Morro (or El Morro, for short)

The road climbing El Campo del Morro up to Castillo San Felipe del Morro (or El Morro, for short)

It's a long slog for someone as small as me!

It’s a long slog for someone as small as me!

The view Old San Juan from El Morro

The view Old San Juan from El Morro

Old San Juan Cemetery, with El Morro in the distance

Old San Juan Cemetery, with El Morro in the distance

Street of the dead

Street of the dead

Europeans have been living on the site now called Old San Juan for over half a millennia. In 1509, Juan Ponce de León founded the settlement, which was then simply called Puerto Rico. In 1521, it was renamed San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico, which is a bit of a mouthful if you ask me. No doubt people were relieved when demolition began on parts of the city walls in 1897 to enable the expansion of the city, and they could start calling the original part Old San Juan.

A section of Old San Juan'c city walls

A section of Old San Juan’s city walls

San Juan Gate

San Juan Gate

San Juan Gate from the inside, which leads to...

San Juan Gate from the inside, which leads to…

...Caleta de San Juan

…Caleta de San Juan

Caleta de San Juan

Caleta de San Juan

Caleta de San Juan ends in a small park in front of...

Caleta de San Juan ends in a small park in front of…

...the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista

…the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista

Most of Old San Juan’s buildings date back to the 16th and 17th Centuries, including the two massive fortresses of Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo San Cristóbal (which deserve separate future postings of their own – watch this space!). As a consequence, it is considered the oldest settlement on Puerto Rico and one of the most ancient colonial cities in the New World.

Cuartel de Ballajá

Cuartel de Ballajá

Plaza del Quinto Centenario (Quincentennial Plaza) is home to...

Plaza del Quinto Centenario (Quincentennial Plaza) is home to…

...the rather odd Totem Telurico

…the rather odd Totem Telurico

Church of San Jose

Church of San Jose

Juan Ponce de León, founder of San Juan

Juan Ponce de León, founder of San Juan

The San Juan National Historic Site was defined in 1949. It was included on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1966, before being promoted to a National Historic Landmark District in 2013.

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Internationally, Old San Juan has been considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1983.

Parque de las Palomas (Pigeon Park) - wonder where it gets its name

Parque de las Palomas (Pigeon Park) – wonder where it gets its name

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Place de Armas

Plaza de Armas

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Cellphones have eliminated the original need for this building, which now serves as a cafe in Plaza de Armas

Cellphones have eliminated the original need for this building, which now serves as a cafe in Plaza de Armas

Plaza Salvador Brau

Plaza Salvador Brau

Approaching Castillo San Cristóbal

Approaching Castillo San Cristóbal

Plaza de Colón

Plaza de Colón

This post was inspired by this week’s Cee’s Which Way Challenge.

The streets of Old San Juan look wonderful at night

The streets of Old San Juan look wonderful at night

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Plaza de Armas

Plaza de Armas

IMG_4554IMG_4555IMG_4556While you’re daydreaming about wandering down Old World streets in the New World, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

IMG_4716And if that’s not enough for you, the first three Jaspa’s Journey novels will soon be available to enjoy, both as ebooks and in paperback! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

Jaspa's Journey Logo (Bigger Bucket)

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About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Caribbean, History, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Streets of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

  1. jpeggytaylor says:

    What a fascinating old place! … yet it looks so beautifully clean too.

  2. Cee Neuner says:

    Such a fascinating place and with such cool ways too!!!! 🙂 Thanks.

  3. Amy says:

    Beautiful place to visit! Great shots!

  4. Pingback: Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge: 2015 Week #12 | Cee's Photography

  5. Cee Neuner says:

    Congratulations! I have selected this post to be featured on Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge.
    http://ceenphotography.com/2015/03/25/cees-which-way-photo-challenge-2015-week-12/
    I sure hope your week has been fabulous so far.

  6. Pingback: Cee’s Weekly Wrap Up – March 28, 2015 and WPC Ephemeral | Cee's Photography

  7. Old San Juan is one of my very favorite places! Your pictures captured it well!

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