Castillo San Felipe Del Morro
The Castillo San Felipe del Morro is a beautiful and historic structure in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This structure is one of the most iconic forts and has been designated as a World Heritage Site. You’re cordially invited to visit this engineering marvel while visiting Old San Juan.
Castillo San Felipe Del Morro gets its namesake from King Philip the Second of Spain. The fort is also referred to as el Morro. This large stone structure was designed to guard the entrance to the San Juan Bay. This historic location receives over two million visitors a year, and it’s considered a prevalent site amongst tourist and history buffs
Construction of the fort began in 1539 in a strategic location at the entrance to one of the most frequently used harbors in the Caribbean. In 1595, The fort would receive its first attack. Sir Francis Drake led an attack against San Juan. After a miserable attempt to gain entrance to San Juan, Drake would fail and end up losing much of his fleet. Excellent engineering, excellent tactics, and good fortune led their army to victory.
By now, Castillo San Felipe del Morro was considered the gateway to the Spanish empire, and the Spanish monarchy considered Puerto Rico the “Key to the Antilles.” From then on, no enemy ships could get near the fortress without the fear of death or capture.
After hundreds of years, El Morro would be used as an active U.S. military base during the two World Wars, and it was fitted with more effective equipment like a bunker, observation post, and an anti-aircraft gun emplacement. Not long after it’s final battles during World War II, It became evident that Castillo San Felipe had fulfilled its purpose for centuries, and was now obsolete. In 1949, the fortress became the heart of San Juan National Historic Site
Today, it stands as an honored and inspiring monument to the ingenuity of Western military and cultural tradition. This remarkable structure stands as a reminder of human ingenuity and the warrior spirit.