San Juan National Historic Site is one of the over 400 parks of the National Park Service. It includes Castillo San Felipe del Morro, Castillo San Cristóbal, most of the city walls, the San Juan Gate and Fort San Juan de la Cruz just across the entrance to the bay. Our mission is to preserve natural and cultural treasures, like this one, for the enjoyment of this and future generations.
Castillo San Felipe del Morro
Located on the headland overlooking the entrance to San Juan Bay, El Morro Fort (Castillo San Felipe del Morro) was built to protect the city of San Juan from seaborne enemies. When it was constructed back in 1539 El Morro was just a simple tower, the layout that you see today was designed several years later in 1587 by engineers Juan de Tejada and Juan Bautista Antonelli based on the established Spanish military fortification design principles of that time period.
Castillo San Cristóbal
San Cristobal Fort is the largest Spanish fortification in the New World and along with El Morro Fort it forms the center pieces to the extensive fortifications that have protected Old San Juan for hundreds of years. Built in 1664, San Cristobal Fort covers some 27 acres of land and was constructed to protect San Juan from land attack and it is the first fort that you will see when driving into Old San Juan. Initial construction began in 1634 in response to the 1625 Dutch attack on San Juan and between 1765 to 1783 further construction was carried out to increase the size of the fort resulting in the construction that you see today.Today San Cristobal is a declared World Heritage Site by the United Nations.