El Morro, San Juan

A thirty minute walk from Castillo San Cristobal, which the lovely Robin and I explored together last Saturday, is another breathtaking fortress, El Morro.
Whereas San Cristobal protected the city of San Juan from attack by sea and land, El Morro (with its still-operating lighthouse, above), guarded the entrance to the port of San Juan, a priceless asset.
The photo above shows the entrance to San Juan harbor from El Morro. With cannon on El Morro and also at another fort across the entrance, any ship trying to enter the harbor would be caught in a deadly crossfire. Even today, cruise ships and other vessels that enter the harbor must be guided carefully into the bay.
El Morro (its full name is Castillo San Felipe del Morro) evolved from a promontory with a cannon to a massive six-level fortress that is a masterpiece of military engineering. In the picture below can be seen the "tracks" of the cannon assemblies that once allowed soldiers to move and aim the weapons. The photo also shows the shoreline facing east from El Morro to the ancient cemetery where many of San Juan's dignitaries are buried, the Capitol building, and in the distance, Castillo San Cristobal, the other fortress in the extensive defensive works that once surrounded the city.
It is an amazing thing to see--five hundred years of history, from Christopher Columbus's second voyage in 1493, to the present day. A part of that beautiful island's remarkable heritage.

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