El palacio de santa catalina puerto rico: La Fortaleza | Discover Puerto Rico

La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina, San Juan

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La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina

#32 of 252 things to do in San Juan

Historic Sites • Government Buildings

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12:00 AM — 11:59 PM

Monday

12:00 AM — 11:59 PM

Tuesday

12:00 AM — 11:59 PM

Wednesday

12:00 AM — 11:59 PM

Thursday

12:00 AM — 11:59 PM

Friday

12:00 AM — 11:59 PM

Saturday

12:00 AM — 11:59 PM

Sunday

12:00 AM — 11:59 PM

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Visitors can take guided tours through this World Heritage Site, a 40-room mansion completed in 1540 that was used to defend against foreign invaders.

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    Old San Juan Sunset Sail

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  • Sunset Walking Tour in the Historic Old San Juan

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  • Old San Juan Walking Tour

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    Cultural One Puerto Rico: Old San Juan, Playa Piñones, Shopping, and Dining

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

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213 reviews

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Laura R

Guttenberg, NJ222 contributions

Beautiful, Serene Grounds

Apr 2022

La Fortaleza is beautiful. We were able to get a tour (which is free but you must book in advance). The architecture is stunning, and the grounds are serene. The fountain takes you back to Al Hambra. It is a fantastic building. We were very happy to go on the tour.

Written May 2, 2022

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.


Opinion_of_EMS

Kingwood, Texas37 contributions

Beautiful grounds

Mar 2022 • Couples

La Fortaleza did not disappoint! What a privilege to walk past those gates and into the beautiful and well-kept grounds. Our tour guide Sandra de Jesus did a great job of giving us a history lesson and showing us how the governor’s mansion is still used today. What a treat!

Written March 20, 2022

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.


jehenson81

Washington DC, DC22,128 contributions

Cordoned Off

Nov 2021 • Solo

So because of the protests that have been going on over the last 2+ years, the path to the front of the governors mansion is blocked off and guarded by police officers. The only part you can really see is the front through the gate from over a block away. It was a tad disappointing.

Written November 12, 2021

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.


TennisStar602

Florida465 contributions

The Fortaleza truly is a marvelous building.

Feb 2020 • Solo

I enjoyed the beautiful architecture of this stunning old building. However, as a result of the protests, this site is not currently open to the public. It is gated off, and it has a police barricade.

Written February 4, 2020

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.


Les L

St. Petersburg, FL16,217 contributions

Beautiful governor’s home

Dec 2019 • Solo

Dominating one end of Fortaleza street, the governor’s mansion is stunning. A must-see when strolling Fortaleza.

Written December 29, 2019

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.


Mike G

Godley, TX138 contributions

Beautiful Architecture

Aug 2019

Was working in Puerto Rico for a couple of weeks. Was able to go to Old San Juan and walk around. Went by La Fortaleza and loved the architecture and all of the flowers. Very beautiful.

Written November 5, 2019

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.


elw966

Bronx, NY35 contributions

PR CHILL TRIP

Aug 2019

It is very important to visit El Morro which is filled with history. This place is beautiful and a must see. The views from the top of the fort are beautiful.

Written August 19, 2019

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.


William B

Indianapolis, IN63 contributions

A neat Place to Visit

Aug 2019

The governors place is interesting. If you like history and spanish designs. The tour is very informative.

Written August 17, 2019

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.


jlantern3

Columbia, SC12,212 contributions

Attractive—

Jun 2019 • Family

This is where The Governor lives—gated=they do give guided tours on week days. Has a good history to it. next time in San Juan, I’ll visit==located at the end of the street with all the umbrellas

Written July 15, 2019

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.


Sylvia DrSoul Fernandez

San Juan, Puerto Rico9,499 contributions

Free guided tours on week days!

Jul 2019 • Solo

La Fortaleza is located at Recinto Oeste Street, adjacent from another side to the San Juan Gate. Free weekly guided tours from 9am to 4pm except holidays offer a great view of the place and the gardens!

For your convenience please call ahead of time to confirm the tour hours and days. For more information, call 787-721-7000 ext. 2211. There is also a tour guide office by the west end of Calle Forteleza that you can stop by in person.

There is currently an umbrella “exhibition” in the entrance to enjoy!

Written July 4, 2019

This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.


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Frequently Asked Questions about La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina


La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina is open:

  • Sun — Sat 12:00 AM — 11:59 PM

Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.


We recommend booking La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 23 La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina tours on Tripadvisor


Hotels near La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina:

  • (0.03 mi) Cozy Tropical Apt in Old San Juan
  • (0.12 mi) Villa Herencia
  • (0.09 mi) Monastery Art Suites
  • (0. 06 mi) Close to Cruise Ships Large 3 Casa Saffra Casa Saffra Bedroom 2 Bath home with
  • (0.06 mi) Close to Cruise Ships BEAUTIFUL SPACIOUS 3bedroom on the best block in Old San

View all hotels near La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina on Tripadvisor


Restaurants near La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina:

  • (0.10 mi) Tropical Taste
  • (0.09 mi) Anita Gelato PR
  • (0.12 mi) Cafe El Punto
  • (0.10 mi) El Parnaso
  • (0.10 mi) Bari Handcrafted Pizza

View all restaurants near La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina on Tripadvisor


La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

La Fortaleza, along with the later fortifications of Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal and San Juan de la Cruz (El Cañuelo), and a large portion of the original San Juan City Wall, were built between the 16th and 20th centuries to protect the city and the Bay of San Juan. They are characteristic examples of the historic methods of construction used in military architecture over this period, which adapted European designs and techniques to the special conditions of the Caribbean port cities. La Fortaleza has served as a fortress, an arsenal, a prison, and residence of the Governor-General, and today as the seat and residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico.

These fortifications, which retain the general appearance of advanced 18th-century defense technology, clearly illustrate both a transfer of technology from Europe to America over a long period and its adaptation to the topography of a strategically significant yet difficult tropical site. Reflecting Italian Renaissance, Baroque, and French Enlightenment designs, the defenses express successive techniques and technologies in fortification construction. The varied examples of military architecture from the 16th to 20th centuries in the fortifications of San Juan are evidence of the imperial struggles that defined the development of the Americas. As one of the first as well as one of the last of the numerous seats of power in Spain’s American empire, these structures are now potent symbols of the cultural ties that link the Hispanic world.

Criterion (vi): La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site outstandingly illustrate the adaptation to the Caribbean context of European developments in military architecture from the 16th to 20th centuries. They represent the continuity of more than four centuries of architectural, engineering, military, and political history.

Integrity

Located within the boundaries of La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico are all the elements necessary to understand and express the Outstanding Universal Value of the property, including La Fortaleza, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal, San Juan de la Cruz (El Cañuelo) fort, and a large portion of the original San Juan City Wall, including San Juan Gate. The portion of the City Wall that belongs to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is not within the property. The property is nevertheless of sufficient size to adequately ensure a full representation of the features and processes that convey its significance. The property in general does not suffer from adverse effects of development or neglect, though urban encroachment near the north section of the City Wall and the deterioration of the San Juan del la Cruz fort’s facade and Castillo San Cristóbal’s outworks have been identified as concerns. There is no buffer zone for the property.

Authenticity

La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico is authentic in terms of its forms and designs, materials and substance, and location and setting. The fortifications remain as a clear testimony to their original defensive purpose, and indeed continued to serve as such through the mid-20th century. The original construction methods, including those used in periodic expansions and improvements during the forts’ active service, are still evident and can be used to guide continuing conservation. Repairs have been constantly necessary over the life of the structures due to their age and the vulnerable materials of which they are composed; regular monitoring now supports repair work.

The site is fundamentally in a good state of preservation, despite conservation challenges posed by susceptible materials such as sandstone, brick, and plaster in the presence of the erosive action of the sea and heavy traffic in the area. Some early repairs using concrete also caused damage, but current professional conservation policies, including regular monitoring, are addressing these issues.

Protection and management requirements

La Fortaleza, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960, is owned in fee by the Government of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; San Juan National Historic Site, which was established in 1949, is held by fee title by the Government of the United States of America. La Fortaleza is protected under the regulations of the Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly, as well as by the Commission of the Historic Zone of San Juan, an independent commission of the Capital of Puerto Rico. The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture has established standards of conservation and restoration in the historic zone. In addition, there is a Consultant Committee for the Restoration, Conservation, and Improvement of La Fortaleza. San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico – comprised of San Felipe del Morro, San Cristóbal, and El Cañuelo forts and most of what remains of the of the old San Juan City fortress wall along with the San Juan Gate – is protected under the National Park system, which affords it the highest possible level of protection by the federal government and assures a high standard of interpretation and public access. The inclusion in 2013 of both La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site within the Old San Juan Historic District National Historic Landmark affords another level of protection as well.

Formal agreements are in place for cooperative management of the property between the Government of Puerto Rico and the National Park Service. Guiding documents include a General Management Plan (1985), a Long-Range Interpretive Plan (2006), an Alternative Transportation Plan, and various interpretive plans for waysides and exhibits for San Juan National Historic Site; the Commonwealth government has committed to compiling current practice into a formal management plan for La Fortaleza. A new visitor center established in 2002 at Castillo San Cristóbal allows for improved public access and there are plans to further enhance information for visitors and reduce traffic.

Sustaining the Outstanding Universal Value of the property over time will require completing, approving, and implementing a general management plan for La Fortaleza; continuing to apply appropriate conservation measures aimed at protecting vulnerable materials, including at the San Juan del la Cruz fort and Castillo San Cristóbal outworks; and managing urban encroachment near the City Wall.

La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina, San Juan

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La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina

#32 of 252 things to do in San Juan

Historic Sites • Government Buildings

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What do travelers

Author: Maria N.

“Beautiful residence in the old town”

Jan. 2019

Official residence of the current Governor of Puerto Rico. Closed on weekends. So we didn’t get in. But they photographed in the surroundings of the «umbrella» street. It turned out interesting.

Author: AlexeyDevishev

“The Official Residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico”

oct. 2016

Originally used as the official residence of the Spanish Captain General of Puerto Rico, this building now serves as the official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico. On weekdays from 9.00 to 17.00 there are free tours in English. The building is closed on weekends and there are no guided tours.

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near the

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Restaurants

449 at a radius of 5 km

Tropical Taste

0. 2 km $ dollar • Caribbean • International • Purtorikan

9000 CHOTR (Viejo San Juan)

0.4 km$$ — $$$ • International • Contemporary • Puerto Rican

Senor Paleta — Old San Juan

0.3 km$ • Desserts • Vegetarian Friendly • Vegan Friendly

Stuffed Avocado Shop

0.4 km$$ — $$$ • Quick Bites • International • Healthy

Cafe El Punto

0.2 km$$ — $$$ • Caribbean • Latin American • Spanish

Cafe Don3 9004 0.4 km$ • Quick Bites • Cafe • Puerto Rican

Deaverdura

0.4 km$$ — $$$ • Caribbean • Latin American • Puerto Rican

La Taberna Lupulo

0.4 km Bar$$ — $$$ • Brew Pub • Beer restaurants

St Germain

0.4 km$$ — $$$ • Cafe • Puerto Rican • Vegetarian Friendly

Princesa — Cocina Cultura

0.3 km$$ — $$$ • Latin American • Seafood • Spanish

Show all

Attractions

263 within a radius of 10 km

City Gate La Puerta de San Juan

0.1 km0003


Maria N.

Moscow, Russia11,658 publications

Beautiful residence in the old town 2019 • For two

Official residence of the current Governor of Puerto Rico. Closed on weekends. So we didn’t get in. But they photographed in the surroundings of the «umbrella» street. It turned out interesting.

Published February 16, 2019

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


AlexeyDevishev

Moscow, Russia105 publications

Official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico

2016 • Family Vacation

Originally used as the official residence of the Spanish Captain General of Puerto Rico, this building now serves as the official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico. On weekdays from 9.00 to 17.00 there are free tours in English. The building is closed on weekends and there are no guided tours.

Published November 6, 2016

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


Galina56

2619269879 publications 2016 • For two

La Fortaleza is located near the Pigeon Park. This is the old fortress of the city, but from the very beginning it was the residence of the governor. To date, there are already 170 of the latter. In 1846, the fort was reconstructed to turn it into a palace. You can get to the palace with a free tour, but not in Russian. I recommend.

Published September 19, 2016

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


Laura R

Guttenberg, NJ222 publications

Beautiful, serene grounds

Apr. 2022

La Fortaleza is beautiful. We managed to get on a guided tour (free, but you need to book in advance). The architecture is amazing and the grounds are serene. The fountain will take you back to Al Hambra. This is a fantastic building. We were very excited to go on tour.

Published May 2, 2022

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


Opinion_of_EMS

Kingwood, Texas37 publications

Beautiful grounds

March 2022 • For two

La Fortaleza did not disappoint! What a privilege to pass these gates and enter the beautiful and well-kept grounds. Our tour guide Sandra de Jesus did a great job of giving us a history lesson and showing us how the governor’s mansion is still in use today. What a pleasure!

Published March 20, 2022

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


jehenson81

Washington, D.C. 2021 • Traveling alone

Therefore, due to the protests that have been going on for the past 2+ years, the path to the governor’s mansion is blocked and guarded by police. The only part you can actually see is the facade through the gate from over a block away. It was a little disappointing.

Published November 12, 2021

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


TennisStar602

Florida465 publications

Fortaleza is a truly amazing building.

Feb. 2020 • Traveling alone

I enjoyed the beautiful architecture of this stunning old building. However, as a result of the protests, this site is not currently open to the public. It is closed and has a police barricade.

Published February 4, 2020

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


Mike G

Godley, TX138 posts

Beautiful architecture

Aug. 2019

Worked in Puerto Rico for a couple of weeks. Was able to go to Old San Juan and take a walk. Went from La Fortaleza and loved the architecture and all the flowers. Very beautiful.

Published November 5, 2019

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


elw966

Bronx, NY35 publications

PR CHILL TRIP

2019

It is very important to visit El Morro, which is filled with history. This is a beautiful place that is a must see. The views from the top of the fort are wonderful.

Posted August 19, 2019

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


jlantern3

Columbia, SC12,212 posts

Attractive—

June 2019 • Family fun

The Governor lives here — closed = they do tours on weekdays. Has a good history. next time in san juan i will visit == located at the end of the street with all 9 umbrellas0003

Published July 15, 2019

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


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  • Old San Juan

    16 542 9000 for walks 9View all hotels near La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina 0349

La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina View all hotels near La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina on Tripadvisor View all restaurants near PR

  • (0. 19 km) Cafe El Punto
  • (0.15 km) El Parnaso
  • (0.16 km) Bari Handcrafted Pizza
  • La Fortaleza — Palacio de Santa Catalina View all restaurants near on Tripadvisor


    Puerto Rico Architecture HiSoUR – Hi So You Are

    Puerto Rican architecture exhibits a wide range of traditions, styles and national influences accumulated over four centuries of Spanish rule and a century of American rule. Spanish colonial architecture, Ibero-Islamic, art deco, post-modern and many other architectural forms are visible throughout the island. There are also many regional differences from city to city.

    Puerto Rican architecture showcases a wide range of architectural styles and built forms over the country’s history of over four centuries of former Spanish rule and over a century of American rule.

    The architecture in Puerto Rico is as diverse as its multicultural society, and has been shaped by many internal and external factors and regional differences.

    Old San Juan is one of two barrios, in addition to Santurce, which constituted the municipality of San Juan from 1864 to 1951, during which time the former independent municipality of Río Piedras was annexed. With its abundance of shops, historical sites, museums, open-air cafes, restaurants, gracious homes, tree-shaded plazas, and its old beauty and architectural feature, Old San Juan is a prime destination for local and domestic tourism. The area is also characterized by numerous public squares and churches, including the Church of San José and the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista, which houses the tomb of the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León. It also houses the oldest Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico, Colegio de Párvulos, built in 1865.

    The oldest parts of the Old San Juan area remain partly enclosed by massive walls. Several defenses and famous forts, such as the emblematic Fort of San Felipe del Morro, Fort San Cristobal and El Palacio de Santa Catalina, also known as La Fortaleza, acted as the main defense of the settlement, which was subjected to numerous attacks. La Fortaleza continues to serve as the executive mansion for the governor of Puerto Rico. Many of the historic fortifications are part of the San Juan National Historic Center.

    During the 1940s, parts of Old San Juan fell into disrepair and many redevelopment plans were proposed. There was even a strong push to develop Old San Juan as a «little Manhattan». Strict remodeling codes were implemented to prevent new designs from appearing in the general colonial Spanish architectural themes of the old city. When a design proposal suggested that the old Carmelite convent in San Juan be demolished in order to erect a new hotel, the Institute declared the building a historic building and then asked that it be converted into a hotel on the renovated site. This is what became the El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan. The paradigm of renovating and renovating the old city and revitalizing it was followed by other cities in America, notably Havana, Lima and Cartagena de Indias.

    Ponce Creole is an architectural style created in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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