El Morro Fort
Castillo San Felipe del Morro is a 16th century fort that began construction in 1539 with it's main purpose to defend the port of San Juan by controlling entry to the harbor. Its present look was completed around the 1780's. It consisted of 450 cannons. The outer walls were originally 6 feet thick and by the end of the 18th century, they were 18 feet thick. The city walls surrounding OSJ took 48 years to build. El Morro has 6 levels and is 145 feet tall. El Morro takes up over 70 acres.
In 1961, the US Army officially retired El Morro and it became a National Park and museum.
We headed out on our long journey to see the forts.
We spotted a tail going by...
I couldn't believe how close it comes to the fort. I was wishing I was up there at that time it passed. It was the Carnival Sunshine coming in to port.
Thank goodness is was really windy up here...otherwise, it would have just been too hot to walk out in the open like that.
When you pay for your ticket, they tell you that this ticket is also good for the other fort.
When you first walk in, it's like an open courtyard. We weren't sure where to start.
There were all kinds of little places to go in, read about the history, then many had areas with holes in them to look out.
Ok, so it suggest that you start up 1 level on level 5. We just walked all the way up the hill to the fort and it looks like we were walking up some more.
But first a potty stop. I'm pretty sure this isn't what it looked like back in the day.
Then up we went. It was beautiful up there and plenty of picture opportunities.
They even had one of these to take a closer look (and it was free). Sakari said she was searching for whales.
Oh my gosh the breeze blowing in the windows felt so good I didn't want to leave!
This is the Lighthouse. It was the first lighthouse built in Puerto Rico. The original lighthouse was built in 1846 and the newer lighthouse was built in 1876. Then it was hit in the Spanish-American War in 1898 and rebuilt in 1899. But it soon developed some structural problems and was demolished in 1906. The current lighthouse (below) was built in 1908.
We headed back down to the 5th floor.
A golf course.....(according to above) and what it used to look like. I'd like to know where that swimming pool was about now.
We decided to head down to the 3rd level. No elevators here. You will encounter 77 steps leading down to the next level.
Sakari decided to not take the steps. It is actually steeper than what it looks and I warned her that if she tripped and started to tumble, there would be no stopping her, therefore, making her a human bowling ball and I was hoping there wouldn't be any pins in her way if it happened.
I was already dreading going back up them.
I have absolutely no idea what these were or what significance they had. I would have thought there would be something there to tell you.
Well alrighty then. I guess we have discovered the real restrooms here.
I'm still scratching my head at this one. Do they lean up against the back wall and everything goes into that hole? Which flows out and around the fort in the area that was dug out about 4' deep that we seen while walking up here? (In the above pictures)
The "rooms" were on one side and the breeze was plentiful over there. The opposite side (which was the kitchen and dining) had absolutely no breeze. I can only imagine cooking in it.
Somebody is missing somebody...
I guess we were about to head to Level 2, which was part of the original tower.
And yet there's another level. So down we went to Level 1 .
No idea what this was and there was absolutely nothing down here to see. What a waste of steps I'll have to climb back up.
Whew I was wore out.
We made it back up to Level 3. I could have done without seeing level 2 or 1. It was SO hot in there. But, at least I can say that we were able to see the "original" part of the fort.
Ok, here we go!!!
It took awhile with a few rest stops for the hubby, but we made it. We are both so out of shape these days.
Hmm, do I really want to try to conquer the other fort after all that?
We headed out and I can finally say I've been to a fort/historical site before. I can't say I have changed my mind or point of view about seeing these types of things. They really don't interest me. But, trying to kill a few days on foot in OSJ and I'm glad I did it. I know there's a lot of history buffs and people that will go here during a port stop, so I figured it might benefit them to get an idea of what it's like.
We made it outside and actually sat for awhile and rested...in the sun. But, the wind was still blowing and it felt good. I had to take off my socks and shoes to air things out and it felt so good.