A massive rock castle is vigilant in front of the Atlantic Ocean.
El Morro, an impressive fortress, still guards Puerto Rico’s San Juan Bay as it did 500 years ago. Built during the 1500, it took the Spaniards over 200 years to build Fort San Felipe del Morro. Contrary to its original purpose, nowadays the memorable structure, serves as a historic park, visited by thousands of tourists every year. Across the emerald green field, the legendary colossus guards the Old San Juan city from the vast ocean. Once you cross the portal, you’ll step into a time machine that will take you back to the Colonial era.
For only $3, you can enter this architectural masterpiece, strategically positioned to vanquish any adversary of the Spaniard crown. Emmanuel Rodriguez, a US Park Ranger, guide us through the fortress. Enthusiastically and well-versed, Emmanuel shared his vast knowledge with us. With innumerable questions revolving around my head and the warm tropical sun embracing my skin, I looked for answers in the stone walls full of stories. Emmanuel answered all my questions, like he has been part of the Spanish colonial army. We enter into the “garita”, a small, dark and round protuberance that sticks out of the wall, which served as a watch post. Through the sleek opening in the “garita”, the guard in post watches for lurking enemies in the waters.
The epic battles, the pirates, buccaneers and military heroes that once walked through El Morro, are represented by the many exhibitions, relics and artifacts inside the earthenware stronghold. Due to its historic importance, El Morro was declared as a World Heritage site by the UNESCO. The ancient dungeons, passages and rooms are well-preserved for the benefit of future generations.
“ Will you like to witness the most beautiful scene of the San Juan Bay?” Emmanuel asks us, we quickly respond with a firm yes.
We head to the entrance of the light house; the structure still in working order and is manages by the U.S Coast Guard. Climbing the spiral steel stairs we reached the top, the powerful wind welcomed us. The impressive sight stole our breath immediately; the blue giant kissing softly the periphery of the city was a visual ecstasy. El Morro has prevailed even after monumental wars, fires and violent hurricanes, to share its magnificence and history with the world. If you are looking for a great place to visit in Puerto Rico, you should definitely visit El Morro in the Old San Juan. For more information http://www.nps.gov/saju/index.htm.
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