Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Located on the corner of the islet of San Juan and overlooking the Bay, El Castillo San Felipe del Morro or “San Felipe del Morro Fortress” is one of Puerto Rico’s most famous forts and one of the largest fortifications built by Spain in the Caribbean,.The six-level military outpost was used by Spain and later United States during the colonization era of Puerto Rico.

El Morro was the second fortress built in the island (after “La Fortaleza, which nowadays serves as the governor’s home).

Its construction started in 1539, but is wasn’t finalized until 1790, it lasted 250 years. It started as a promontory mounted with a cannon and ended up as a six-level fortress, created to protect the residents of Puerto Rico from sea attacks and fire artillery over enemy ships.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Together with the Fortín San Juan de la Cruz, located across the Bay, these fortress would created a crossfire that would hit any enemy approaching the bay entrance. They were successful in defending the island from British and Dutch invasions.

It later became property of United States when the Spanish American war broke out in 1898. El Morro served as an active US military base during the two World Wars, adding a naval observation posts as well as an anti-aircraft gun emplacement to the fort.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

El Morro became part of the National Park Service in 1961, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983, becoming a monument and a museum. It is also among the most visited attractions of Puerto Rico, capturing the history of the island with its cannons, casemates, the chapel and the garitas, small enclosures where the Spanish used to stood guard, but that nowadays offer fantastic views.

You can visit it and learn about the story of the country and this amazing fortress, or just enjoy the lawn in front, where soldiers used to march on, but nowadays is filled with people running and children flying kites.