Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings
This small fort occupies a strategic site that the Spanish early utilized to defend the eastern land approaches to San Juan and to support the harbor defenses. The earlier fort or fortsdepending on whether or not rebuilding or new building was carried on in 1608at this site served from the 16th through most of the 18th centuries. The Spanish designed the present masonry structure in 1791; built it in the period 1792-96; and identically reconstructed it during the years 1799-1801, after the British partially destroyed it in 1797. The fort rests on a sandstone bedrock that juts out into the sea. It has two main levels, or tiers. The upper one, the gundeck, is connected by two ramps with the forecourt. Inside are store rooms, magazines, dungeon, kitchen, and other facilities. The fort is administered by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, which in 1961 restored it and installed a military museum.
Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005