Iglesia porta coeli puerto rico: Porta Coeli — Iglesia — San German, Puerto Rico / Porta Coeli Church

A Brief History of Porta Coeli Church

The white exterior of Porta Coeli Church | © Ben Schmitt/Flickr

Mariela Santos

8 June 2017

Loosely translated as ‘heaven’s door’, Porta Coeli Church in the town of San Germán on Puerto Rico‘s western coast is one of the country’s most striking attractions. Thought to be one of the oldest religious structures in the western hemisphere, this 17th century convent church dates back to the time of Spanish rule in Puerto Rico, and has long been a source of fascination for visitors to the island. To find out more about its intriguing past, take a look at our brief historical overview.

The Porta Coeli Convent was built in the early 1600s by Dominican friars, with an accompanying church constructed alongside in the 1700s. The church was originally created with rubble masonry, stucco walls, and a wooden roof, and later underwent a restoration project led by the Insitituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, which was finished in 1960. While today only part of a wall remains from the convent, the church on the small hill has survived. Past visitors may remember the church because of its distinctive pink-orange walls, which have since been painted white. The church is thought to be one of oldest in the western hemisphere.

Porta Coeli Church with pink exterior | © Frederic Gleach/ Flickr

The church is home to a museum open to the public featuring religious artefacts, including sculptures and depictions of saints. Located next to the Plaza Santo Domingo, it’s easily the most famous structure in San Germán – though the museum is small in size compared to the top museums in Puerto Rico, it’s still a notable attraction for travelers in the area.

Porta Coeli Museum sign | © Ben Schmitt/ Flickr

A stop by the church isn’t a day-long trip, so consider exploring western Puerto Rico to see other sights while you’re there. Check out the island’s iconic lighthouses such as Punta Higuero Lighthouse or Los Morrillos Lighthouse, eat at one of the best restaurants in Puerto Rico, or maybe drive to nearby Rincón, one of the island’s many beautiful destinations. If you’re interested in visiting other churches, take a look at San Germán de Auxerre Church, not far from Porta Coeli.

Porta Coeli Church side view | © John Kershner/ Shutterstock

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips.

 Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty — they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset — and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Callejea — www.





​  La Capilla Porta Coeli es una de las más antiguas del Nuevo Mundo y el segundo más antiguo de Puerto Rico. Fue construida por los frailes Dominicos en el año 1609 en la cima de una colina en lo que hoy es San Germán. El convento se utilizó además como escuela y se pretendió usar también como cárcel, cosa que no pudo ser por oponerse los habitantes del pueblo. Durante el siglo XVIII se reconstruyó el Convento y al lado se construyó una iglesia. La iglesia de una sola nave fue construida con mampostería de escombros con paredes revestidas de estuco y un espectacular techo de vigas de madera.

​  En 1949 la Iglesia Católica cedió el edificio al Gobierno Estatal. En 1930 la Junta Conservadora de Valores Históricos, primera organización de conservación del gobierno insular, incluyó al Porta Coeli como monumento histórico. También está incluido en el Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos de los Estados Unidos. Porta Coeli nunca ha sido la principal iglesia de San Germán. Ese edificio, también centenario, es la sede de la Parroquia San Germán de Auxerre y está frente a otra plaza, a pocos pasos de la capilla. Un dato importante Porta Coeli se pronuncia «Porta Cheli» y significa «Puerta del Cielo»

​  Porta Coeli es hoy un museo religioso custodiado por el Instituto de Cultura. Solo quedan ruinas, un muro a dos aguas y un campanario adosado a la iglesia, del antiguo Convento. Cuenta con pinturas, esculturas y objetos religiosos de los siglos XVI al XIX. La entrada al museo tiene un costo alrededor de $2.00. Abre de miércoles a domingo de 8:30 am a 4:20 pm.

​Como Llegar:

​Lugares Cerca:​ Tree House of Life

​Información tomada: web.archive.org I www.nps.gov I https://es.wikipedia.org I http://edicionesdigitales.info








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Book Novorossiya Novosvetskaya — read online for free, author Viktor Karlovich Staritsyn, LitPortal

The crews of all ships by this time had gained sufficient experience in sailing in ocean waters. The Commander-in-Chief of the Navy was personally appointed to command the squadron. He decided to keep his flag on the cruiser.

On April 14, 1543, the squadron left the port of the capital of the Republic for a military campaign. From the loudspeakers the Internationale thundered, the entire population of Leningrad stood on the embankment. The women waved their hats, the soldiers saluted with their hands on their caps. Even prisoners of war who worked at construction sites and factories quit their jobs and, covering their palms from the sun, watched the ships leaving the port. The convoy did not interfere with this. Everyone understood that a new stage was beginning in the life of the Republic.

The same thing happened on Sakhalin, along the coast of which the squadron passed. Work resumed only when all the ships disappeared into the shining azure of the Caribbean Sea.

Passing along the islands of the Lesser Antilles, the squadron crossed the Caribbean Sea, passed through the Mona Strait between Haiti and Puerto Rico, turned almost due north, reached the 40th parallel, and then turned east and went along the classical path of crossing the Atlantic from America to Europe sailboats.

The marching order of the squadron was made up of Suvorov, Peresvet and Oslyabya, marching in formation, Ushakov and Nakhimov, Makarov and Kazarsky, marching in the forward patrol in front formation, 10 miles ahead, carried out flank guarding of the main forces. As a matter of fact, it would be possible to go in the wake, it was unlikely to meet anyone in the South Atlantic, but Rear Admiral Zvyagintsev decided to train the crews to walk in formation from the very beginning.

No storms in the South Atlantic. The winds were favorable. We sailed, making 5 — 8 knots. Suvorov smoked his chimneys, adjusting his speed to the course of the sailboats. For the first two weeks of the campaign, the squadron had to go under the cars for only a day and a half. At this time, the ships were moving at an economic speed of 7 knots.

Taking advantage of the favorable weather, the admiral stopped the squadron. Fuel was pumped to Suvorov from Oslyaby, and fresh water was loaded onto the rest of the ships.

A thousand miles from Spain, the ships were battered by a two-day 9-magnitude storm. The sails reefed, stormed under the cars, nose to the wave. They feared for the hydroplane, fixed on the poop of Suvorov, but there were no damages.

On the 24th day in the evening we approached the coast of Spain. They lay down in a drift, according to the reckoning, 40 miles west of A Coruña, the main Spanish port on the Atlantic coast. In the morning Ushakov and Nakhimov were sent for reconnaissance.

Nakhimov stopped the Spanish cog leaving the port. He offered no resistance. The flag of the Republic alone was already terrifying to Spanish sailors. Zvyagintsev ordered to temporarily detain the cogg. With Kazarsky on cogg they conveyed the message of the Council of People’s Commissars to the Spanish king.

In the message, the Council of People’s Commissars warned that from now on, for any attack on the ships or possessions of the Republic, a blow would be struck on the territory of Spain. The king was again warned that the passage of Spanish ships to the New World was completely prohibited. All Spanish possessions in the New World were declared the property of the Republic.

Ushakov approached the harbor entrance. The commander of the ship, Starley Lukoshkin, confirmed that the navigator had taken the squadron exactly to La Coruña, and reported that he was observing ships in the outer roadstead. The port itself is not visible from the sea.

The entrance to the bay was only a mile and a half wide. Therefore, when planning the operation, the General Staff forbade the ships to enter the harbor. It was not desirable to receive even minor damage far from their shores. Kazarsky went to help Ushakov.

Oslyabya and Peresvet were left to drift under the protection of Makarov. The cruiser came within four miles of the shore. The city was not visible from this place, hiding behind the hills. From the side of the cruiser, taking advantage of the slight excitement, they lowered a seaplane. K-2m took off, gained altitude and headed for the port.

Kazarsky and Ushakov are ordered to sink all the ships they see. The guards approached a mile and a half to the entrance to the bay and opened fire with their main 90-millimeter caliber. From them one and a half dozen ships were visible on the outer roadstead and a dozen on the inner one. The berths were not visible. Two cannons roared slowly.

The distance to the enemy ships was from two to three and a half miles. The sailors did not bother with their state affiliation. The command was: drown everyone. The General Staff hoped in this way to strike at Spain’s intra-European trade. From now on ships of other countries will be afraid to enter Spanish ports.

Four ships, apparently military, tried to set sail and head for the corvettes. They were drowned in the first place. The rest tried to raise the sails and throw themselves ashore. Only two succeeded. Commanders of the guards slowly drowned 26 local troughs with taste. For each spent no more than 4 — 5 shells. 2 — 3 for sighting and a couple for drowning. All it took was an hour and a half.

In the meantime, Suvorov turned his nose against a small wave and, keeping the cars in one place, began to zero in with his one hundred and thirty and two ninety millimeters. The seaplane pilot circled over the port. Letnab corrected the fire on the radio. The main caliber fired high-explosive, and the middle caliber — high-explosive and incendiary. Shells were used only locally. The command forbade spending the few remaining ammunition from the old world.

They hammered at the fortress, at the port, at the warehouses, at the ships moored at the moorings. They tried not to touch the city. The General Staff in the directive ordered to avoid civilian casualties. The gunners practiced firing for almost three hours. Fifty shells of the main caliber and two hundred of the medium caliber were used up. A huge plume of gray smoke rose over the port.

Then the cruiser boarded the plane, the squadron gathered in a marching order and moved to the next port — Gijon. He was 120 miles away.


Santa Catarina Captain Don Sanchez Cuello saw everything from start to finish. On the 9th May, the cogg left A Coruña, bound for Genoa, and headed for Gibraltar. However, he managed to move away from the harbor only about five miles. The cry of the mainmast looking out from Mars drew his attention to a ship approaching from the west. The ship was three or four miles away. And he went to the intersection of the course of Santa Catarina. Without sails!

The captain’s heart sank. He felt so bad that he grabbed the railing. For two years now, terrible stories have been circulating among Spanish sailors about sorcerers from the New World. Only a few ships returned from there to Spain in two years, bringing news one more terrible than the other. Allegedly, the ships of the sorcerers went at great speed without sails against the wind, their cannons fired for three miles, never missing, and sank all the ships with one hit.

The Pope himself and the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Charles V declared a crusade against sorcerers and sent the strongest squadron in history to the New World. From it only one ship returned to Spain. And now the devilish ship was rapidly rolling on his Santa Catarina. At a distance of one mile, a cannon fired from the ship. Directly in the direction of the cog, there was a splash from the fall of the core.

If the entire fleet of the Pope and the Emperor could not cope with the sorcerers, then don Cuello was not going to ruin his cogg by resisting them. He ordered the boatswain to «whistle everyone up» and lower the sails. The gun ports were battened down. While the crew was lowering the sails, the sorcerer’s ship crossed the course of Santa Catarina and began to describe the circulation around the stalled cog.

In order to avoid misunderstandings, Don Cuello ordered the entire team to line up along the bulwark and raise their hands, in an international gesture of surrendering. None of the team tried to challenge the order. That with sorcerers «jokes are bad» everyone heard. Having bypassed the cog from the stern, the ship stopped. The signalman Iglesias, famous for his sharp eyesight, reported that a white flag with a blue border at the bottom fluttered at the stern of the ship. The last doubts, if any of the cogg’s team had them, disappeared. It was the sorcerer’s flag.

Two signal flags were hoisted on the terrible ship. Iglesias saw that these were the flags used by the port authorities to summon the captain with the ship’s papers. The captain understood the order of the sorcerers. A boat was lowered from the side of Katarina and Don Cuello went to the devil’s ship.

Narrow and long, the size of a large galleon, it had completely unusual lines. The almost flat upper deck had only a slight deflection in the middle. The low superstructure was located amidships of the hull, and not on the poop. The ship had three masts and two tall chimneys from which black smoke curled. Not otherwise, there the devils boil resin in their cauldrons, the sailors exchanged impressions. The ship had no cannon ports. On the forecastle and on the poop of the ship, only two very small guns stuck out on the pedestals.

The sailors rowed up to the storm ladder thrown from the deck and tied the boat to it. From above, the captain was ordered to wait in the boat.

At this time, another exactly the same ship approached from the west. Both ships approached closely, but moored on steel. The second ship immediately picked up speed and left towards A Coruña.

A package was lowered from the side of the ship on a rope into the boat. They ordered him to be taken to the port and handed over personally to the captain of the port or the mayor. However, the kog was ordered to remain adrift until a special command. The sailors rowed back to Santa Catarina. Having examined the package, Don Cuello read the inscription on it: Message to the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King Charles V of Spain from the Council of People’s Commissars of the Republic of Kamchatka. He became ill again.

Climbing on board, he took the package to his cabin and climbed to the high poop of the cogga. The ship that had stopped him was drifting in place. At the entrance to the harbor there were already two such ships. And from the west came another ship, much larger. No masts at all. Two short stubs that he had, and it was difficult to call masts.

Something incomprehensible was launched from a large ship with a cargo boom. Having unhooked from the ship, this incomprehensible, quickly accelerating, rushed through the water, and then took off and began to gain altitude.

“Our Father, Jesus Christ and Holy Virgin, save and have mercy on us sinners,” Sanchez Cuello often whispered while crossing himself. On deck, the sailors did the same. Some fell to their knees and, making the sign of the cross, beat their foreheads on the deck.

Sanchez saw that IT most of all resembled a bird with two pairs of wings located one above the other. Soon the bird gained a huge height, higher than the hills surrounding the port, and began to circle over the city.

“How strong these sorcerers are,” the chief standing next to Don Cuello shared his impressions.

— Nothing, with God’s help we will overcome them! the captain replied. Subsequent events made him doubt his words. The large ship approached the coast for a couple of miles, and then stopped in front of the peninsula that separates the harbor from the ocean. The guns spoke to him. They shot very often. Approximately once per minute. There were no breaks in the shore. But, soon, because of the hills covering A Coruña from the sea, clouds of smoke rose.

“They are firing over the hills like mortars,” concluded the chief scorer standing nearby.

— Something is already on fire in the port! How do they get there without seeing the target? — inquired the first mate.

— Wizards, as there are wizards, the devil himself helps them! the captain concluded.

Two smaller ships that were at the entrance to the harbor also began to shoot at some targets. What exactly, beyond the cape was not visible.

The shooting continued for three hours. A huge column of smoke already hung over the city. There must have been a huge fire there. The sorcerers’ ships stopped firing. The devil bird sat on the water like a duck and ran across the water to the big ship. There she was taken to the deck.

All four ships of the sorcerers turned around and headed out to sea. Don Sanchez Cuello realized that he had been set free. Santa Catarina raised her sails and moved back to port. The message of the sorcerers had to be urgently conveyed to its destination.


The next morning the squadron met in sight the second most important Atlantic port of Spain — Gijón. The watchmen carried out reconnaissance and drowned 8 ships at the entrance to the port, which were on the outer roadstead.

The destruction of the port was carried out according to the same scenario. From Suvorov, a seaplane was lifted into the air — a spotter. This time, the admiral decided to train the gunners of the transports. Oslyabya and Peresvet lined up along the coast at a distance of one and a half miles from the port and thoughtfully fired four dozen shells for every 9 hours in two hours. 0mm barrel. Equally high-explosive and incendiary. Since the port itself was two times smaller than A Coruña, the column of smoke was thinner this time.

The next day they shot the last more or less large ocean port of Spain — Santander. This time the corvettes Nakhimov and Makarov practiced shooting.

According to air reconnaissance, about 160 ships were destroyed in three ports. All port facilities and warehouses were burned. The fortresses guarding the ports were destroyed.

The mission in Spain was successfully completed. The squadron, crossing the Bay of Biscay, in a marching order moved north to the largest French port of La Rochelle. 250 miles before him passed in two days. Corvettes inspected all oncoming ships. Those marching under the Spanish flag, without entering into negotiations, drowned. The rest were skipped. None of the counter hostile intentions showed. The sight of a squadron of three largest and four large ships aroused in them only respect bordering on fright.

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