Garita san juan puerto rico: Garita del Diablo – San Juan, Puerto Rico

La Garita — San Juan


La Garita, a sentry box at El Morro castle, has come
to symbolize Puerto Rico and El Viejo San Juan in particular. photo:
Bob Curran



San Juan is the OLDEST CITY under the
U.S. flag. It was founded in 1511 by Juan Ponce de León.
The district that today is known as El Viejo San Juan or Old San
Juan was the personal vision of Ponce de Len. He helped plot the
layout of the city, supervised the construction of its massive walls
and determined which structures were to be built and where.

Situated on an easily defensible isthmus,
Old San Juan is bounded by two fortresses: El Morro and Fort San
Cristóbal. Many of the sites in the Old San Juan area were
built in the 1500’s and are National Historic Sites as well as World
Historic Sites.

Old San Juan was built as a military stronghold.
It is a place were you can visit 500 years of history in one day.
The area covers 7 square blocks of narrow cobblestone paved streets,
lined with centuries old colonial homes with distinct balconies
and courtyards; fortresses, and promenade. Old San Juan’s forts
and city walls are among the best preserved in the hemisphere. The
area is dotted with antique homes, churches, and plazas that represent
the Caribbean’s most priceless architecture. El Viejo San Juan is
home to sidewalk cafes, art galleries, museums, and beautifully
restored homes giving the area a romantic nostalgic look. Tropical
vegetation that includes ferns, bugambillas, palm trees, banana
trees, flamboyanes, hibiscus bushes, and the beloved coqui add to
that special feel.

Mi Viejo San Juan


We’ve had to delete the words to this beautiful
song due to copyright laws.

Too bad — some day soon it will be completely


The midi was also deleted for the same reasons.


A few of the sites to see in Old San Juan

Castillo de San Felipe del Morro (El
Morro) — Construction of the castle and fortress was begun in 1533. This
is the largest fortress in the Caribbean. It is full of tunnels, dungeons,
barracks, outpost, ramps, and sentry posts.

El Palacio de Santa Catalina (La Fortaleza)
was built in 1533 as a fortress. La Fortaleza proved to be too small and
has since served as the Governor’s Mansion. It is the the oldest Governor’s
Palace still in use in the Western Hemisphere.

Casa Blanca was built for and is the
ancestral home of Juan Ponce de León and his family.

El Paseo de la Princesa is a picturesque
boulevard that paralleles the ancient walls.

Plaza de Armas is Old San Juan’s main
square. It was the original training grounds for troops. This 16th-century
plaza later became the city’s principal social gathering place.

Capilla de Cristo is a charming tiny
chapel with an exquisite silver altar that is visible through glass doors.
It has it own interesting history.

Quincentennial Plaza was built to
commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Discovery of Puerto Rico.

Cuartel de Ballaja is a historic Spanish
military barracks.

The Dominican Convent was built by
monks of the Dominican Order in 1523 and is a beautiful example of colonial

San Jose Church is the second oldest
church in the New World.

San Juan Gate is the oldest surviving
gate of the San Juan wall and the city’s first ceremonial entrance, used
whenever high-ranking government or religious officials visited the island.

San Juan Cathedral is Gothic in style
and one of only a few examples of authentic medieval architecture still
standing in the New World. It is also the resting place of Juan Ponce
de León.

La Garita at El Morro Fort in San Juan Puerto Rico Poster

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Listed on Aug 13, 2022

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where to find and what to see nearby

Fort San Cristobal in Old San Juan, often in the shadow of the nearby more popular Fort El Morro, is the largest Spanish fortification in the New World. It was built to repel enemy attacks and, like El Morro, it was equipped with several «garitas», or sentry boxes, in which Spanish soldiers stood guard at night.

One of these booths, built in 1634, stands out from the rest with its legend. Better known as the «Garita del Diablo» or «Devil’s Booth», it is located at a distance from the rest of the sentry booths and protrudes into the ocean. It is said that because of her secluded location and the eerie sounds that were often heard there, the Spanish guards did not like her.

The soldiers in the guardhouses sometimes called roll at night to make sure everything was in order and no one was sleeping. Garita del Diablo was so far away that they had to shout louder than the sound of the ocean waves and the howling wind. One night, a soldier named Sanchez stood guard in the infamous sentry box. No matter how many colleagues called him, the guard did not respond. Until dawn, none of the soldiers dared to go check on him. Arriving at the site in the morning, all they found in the booth was a gun and uniforms. Superstitious guards claimed that Sanchez was taken by the Devil, hence this legend.

However, the locals had a more logical explanation for this disappearance. They claimed that Sanchez left his post to run away with the love of his life, a girl named Diana. The soldier often played the guitar and serenaded her to express his love, however, neither his superiors nor Diana’s stepmother approved of this relationship. The lovers agreed to meet one evening, when Sanchez goes on guard, and escape together. Diana brought him civilian clothes and they took refuge in a house in the Sierra de Trujillo.

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