German puerto rico: San Germán | Discover Puerto Rico

San Germán, Puerto Rico

(sahn her-MAHN)

San Germán is known as La Ciudad de las Lomas (city of hills)
and La Fundadora de Pueblos (founder of towns). San Germán was the
second city founded by the Spanish in Puerto Rico, as the island was divided into
two jurisdictions: the northern, with Caparra or Puerto Rico (now San Juan) as its
capital, and the southern division, with San Germán as the capital.

The original village was founded in 1511,
but it was raided by the French in 1528, 1538, and 1554; the fleeing residents
established a new settlement in the nearby hills.

Porta Coeli
Photo: Manuel Santiago

On May 12, 1570, due the constant attacks and dangers, the Royal Audience of
Santo Domingo ordered San Germán and Santa Maria de Guadianilla to be merged
into a single city, under the name of Germain de Foix, the second wife of
King Ferdinand of Spain. After several attempts the town was officially founded on 1573,

on the hills of Santa Marta, next to the Guanajibo River. Its official name was Nueva Villa de
Salamanca, named after the city of Salamanca, in
Spain. However, the population refused to use this name and called the city San Germán el Nuevo
(the New San Germán) instead. Eventually, the city was called the Villa de San Germán (the
Village of San Germán). It’s Puerto Rico’s oldest settlement outside San Juan.

The Porta Coéli (Gate of Heaven) Church ; the town’s
most famous building is overlooking one of San Germán’s two
plazas, dates back to 1606 and is one of the oldest churches in the Western
Hemisphere, the second founded on the Island and is the
oldest under U.S. jurisdiction. Restored by the Institute of Puerto Rican
Culture, the little church now serves as a museum of religious and containing
Mexican colonial paintings and wood statuary of the 18th and 19th
centuries. Porta Coeli Church is one of only a few buildings constructed with
Gothic architectural style in the New World. Open Wed-Sun, 8:30am — 12pm,
1pm — 4:30pm. (787) 892-5845.

In the second plaza, the more elaborate San Germán de Auxerre
church faces the traditional town hall. San Germán the second urban
center founded by Spaniard on the island, has retained much of its
original Spanish colonial charm and many lovely residences including a mansion
converted into Parador.

San German Auxerre
Photo: Manuel Santiago

In 1912 the Polytechnic Institute of Puerto Rico, later renamed the
Inter-American University, was established in San Germán; it houses the
International Institute of Music, which sponsors a summer music festival.

The town is a center for needlework and art and retains a colonial

San Germán is located in the southwestern region of the island,
south of Mayagüez and Maricao; north of Lajas;
east of Hormigueros and Cabo Rojo; and west of Sabana Grande.

The surrounding area produces sugar, coffee, fruit, and tobacco.

There are many well-known sangermeños, among them:

  • poet Lola Rodríguez de Tió
  • historian Aurelio Tió
  • writer and politician Francisco Mariano Quiñones
  • actor Benicio del Toro

San Germán is made up of 17 barrios (wards/districts):

  • Ancones,Caín Alto
  • Caín Bajo
  • Cotui
  • Duey Alto
  • Duey Bajo
  • Guamá
  • Hoconuco Alto
  • Hoconuco Bajo
  • Maresúa
  • Minillás
  • Pueblo
  • Retiro
  • Rosarío Alto
  • Rosarío Bajo
  • Rosario Peñón
  • Sabana Eneas
  • Sabana Grande Abajo

Things to See and Do In San Germán

Want to know what to see and do in FSan Germán?
Discover few ideas for exploring and enjoying the city.

What to Do and See?
Where to Eat?
Where to Stay?
Festivals and Events
  • Festival del Anon — September
  • Festival de Navidad — December
  • Fiestas Patronales de San German Euserre — July
    Every year, San German celebrates a patron saint festival. The festivities include dances, food, parades and religious processions.
    (787) 892-3500
  • Puerto Rican Women’s Marathon — December
    Every year in february San German celebrates Puerto Rican Women’s Marathon.
    (787) 892-3500


10 Day Forecast

Demographics *


Puerto Rico: 3,285,874

Land Area: 54.5 sq mi

Density: 565.4 per sq mi

Median Age: 44.7

Sex: 51% female

Economics **

Per capita income

Puerto Rico: $21,058

Median household income: $16,561
Puerto Rico: $21,058

Persons below poverty line: 48.8%

Housing, families and educational attainment *

Number of households
Housing units density:
292.1 (2013)

Persons per household: 2.61

High school grad or higher: 70.7%

Marital status: 37% married

* U.S. Census Bureau 2020 data, unless otherwise noted — Source: Quick Facts Puerto Rico.

** U.S. Census Bureau 2016-2020

Map References

Coordinates: 18.0000° N, 67.0000° W

Zip Code: 00636, 00683

Driving Distance from San Juan: 111.8 miles

Driving Time: 2 hours, 23 minutes

Things to Do in San German

104 miles (167km) SW of San Juan, 34 miles (55km) W of Ponce

Only an hour’s drive from Ponce and right near the beaches of the southwest coast, and just over 2 hours from San Juan, San Germán, Puerto Rico’s second-oldest town, is a little museum piece. It was founded in 1512 and destroyed by the French in 1528. Rebuilt in 1570, it was named after Germain de Foix, the second wife of King Ferdinand of Spain. Once the rival of San Juan, San Germán harbored many pirates who pillaged the ships that sailed off the nearby coastline. Indeed, many of today’s residents are descended from the smugglers, poets, priests, and politicians who once lived here.

The pirates and sugar plantations are long gone, but the city retains colorful reminders of its Spanish colonial past. Flowers brighten some of the patios here as they do in Seville. Also, as in a small Spanish town, many of the inhabitants stroll through the historic zone in the early evening. Nicknamed Ciudad de las Lomas (City of the Hills), San Germán boasts verdant scenery that provides a pleasant backdrop to a variety of architectural styles — Spanish colonial (1850s), criolla (1880s), neoclassical (1910s), Art Deco (1930s), and international (1960s) — depicted in the gracious old-world buildings lining the streets. So significant are these buildings that San Germán is included in the National Register of Historic Places.

The city’s 249 historical treasures are within easy walking distance of one another. Regrettably, you must view most of them from the outside. If some of them are actually open, count yourself fortunate, as they have no phones, keep no regular hours, and are staffed by volunteers who rarely show up. Also, be aware that the signage for the historic buildings can be confusing, and many of the streets in the old town tend to run one-way. Most of the city’s architectural treasures lie uphill from the congested main thoroughfare (Calle Luna). We usually try to park on the town’s main street (Carretera 102, which changes its name within the borders of San Germán to Calle Luna), and then proceed on foot through the city’s commercial core before reaching the architectural highlights described below.

One of the most noteworthy churches in Puerto Rico is Iglesia Porta Coeli (Gate of Heaven) (tel. 787/892-0160), which sits atop a knoll at the eastern end of a cobble-covered square, the Parque de Santo Domingo. Dating from 1606 and built in a style inspired by the Romanesque architecture of northern Spain, this is the oldest church in the New World. Restored by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, and sheathed in a layer of salmon-colored stucco, it contains a museum of religious art with a collection of ancient santos, the carved figures of saints that have long been a major part of Puerto Rican folk art. Look for the 17th-century portrait of St. Nicholas de Bari, the French Santa Claus. Inside, the original palm-wood ceiling and tough ausobo-wood beams draw the eye upward. Other treasures include early choral books from Santo Domingo, a primitive carving of Jesus, and 19th-century Señora de la Monserrate Black Madonna and Child statues. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors and children over 12, free for children12 and under. The church is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8:30am to noon and 1 to 4:30pm.

Less than 100 feet (30m) downhill from Iglesia Porta Coeli, at the bottom of the steps that lead from its front door down to the plaza below, is the Casa Morales (also known as the Tomás Vivoni House, after its architect), San Germán’s most photographed and widely recognized house. Designed in the Edwardian style, with wraparound porches, elaborate gables, and elements that might remind you of a Swiss chalet, it was built in 1913, reflecting the region’s turn-of-the-20th-century agrarian prosperity. (Note that it is a private residence and can be admired only from the outside.)

The long and narrow, gently sloping plaza that fronts Iglesia Porta Coeli is the Parque de Santo Domingo, one of San Germán’s two main plazas. Street signs also identify the plaza as the Calle Ruiz Belvis. Originally a marketplace, the plaza is paved with red and black cobblestones. It is bordered with cast-iron benches and portrait busts of prominent figures in the town’s history. This plaza merges gracefully with a second plaza, which street signs and maps identify as the Plaza Francisco Mariano Quiñones, the Calle José Julian Acosta, and the Plaza Principal. Separating the two plazas is the unused (and closed to the public) Viejo Alcaldía (Old Town Hall). Built late in the 19th century, it’s awaiting a new vision, perhaps as a museum or public building.

San Germán’s most impressive church — and the most monumental building in the region — is San Germán de Auxerre (tel. 787/892-1027), which rises majestically above the western end of the Plaza Francisco Mariano Quiñones. Designed in the Spanish baroque style, it was built in 1573 in the form of a simple chapel with a low-slung thatch roof. Its present grandeur is the result of at least five subsequent enlargements and renovations. Much of what you see today is the result of a rebuilding in 1688 and a restoration in 1737 that followed a disastrous earthquake. Inside are three naves, 10 altars, three chapels, and a belfry that was rebuilt in 1939, following an earthquake in 1918. The central chandelier, made from rock crystal and imported from Barcelona in 1866, is the largest in the Caribbean. The pride of the church is the trompe l’oeil ceiling, which was elaborately restored in 1993. A series of stained-glass windows with contemporary designs was inserted during a 1999 restoration. The church can be visited daily from 8 to 11am and 1 to 3pm.

A few lesser sights are located near the town’s two main squares. Farmacia Martin, a modern pharmacy, is incongruously set within the shell of a graceful but battered Art Deco building at the edge of the Parque Santo Domingo (Calle Ruiz Belvis 22; tel. 787/892-1122). A cluster of battered and dilapidated clapboard-sided houses line the southern side of the Calle Dr. Ueve, which rambles downhill from its origin at the base of the Iglesia Porta Coeli. The most important house is no. 66, the Casa Acosta y Fores. Also noteworthy is Casa Juán Perichi, a substantial-looking structure at the corner of Calle Dr. Ueve and Parque Santo Domingo, nearly adjacent to the Iglesia Porta Coeli. Both houses were built around 1917, of traditional wood construction, and are viewed as fine examples of Puerto Rican adaptations of Victorian architecture. Regrettably, both are seriously dilapidated, although that might change as San Germán continues the slow course of its historic renovations.

To the side of the Auxerre church is the modern, cement-sided Public Library, Calle José Julia Acosta, where you might be tempted to duck into the air-conditioned interior for a glance through the stacks and periodical collection. It’s open Monday through Thursday from 8am to 8:30pm, Friday from 8am to 6pm, and Saturday from 8am to 1pm and 2 to 4:30pm. Behind the Auxerre church is at least one masonry-fronted town house whose design might remind you of southern Spain (Andalusia), especially when the flowers in the window boxes add splashes of color.

More than 3 million people were left without electricity in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Fiona

More than 3 million people were left without electricity in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Fiona


thematic applications


Fresh number

09/19/2022 17:41


in the world

Sergey Novikov

About 3.3 million people in Puerto Rico left without without electricity due to the Fiona that hit the island. This was announced on his page in social networks by the governor of the island, Pedro Pierlusi.

The head of Puerto Rico noted that heavy rains and hurricane winds brought by the «Fiona» led to massive landslides, flooding, knocked down hundreds of trees. In the town of Utuado, a bridge was destroyed. As a result of the impact of the elements, the entire island was de-energized.

Category 1 Saffir-Simpson hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico on Sunday night. The speed of wind gusts within the elements was about 40 m/s. Thousands of people were evacuated. Thanks to the coordinated work of emergency services, according to information at the moment, no casualties have been avoided.

Puerto Rico’s power grid is still not fully recovered from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria, which caused the largest power outage in US history in 2017.


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