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1849

Old San Juan

Old San Juan’s Historical Charm

July 14, 2017

At Harbour Lakes Palmas del Mar, your vacation home in Puerto Rico will not only offer you incredibly luxurious living amenities, but also a plethora of historic sites to visit. There are so many incredible opportunities to learn and explore all that Old San Juan has to offer.

Only a handful of cities in the western hemisphere boast the antiquity of Puerto Rico. Juan Ponce de Leon was the founder, in 1508, of the settlement that became San Juan. Now, five centuries later, “Old San Juan” is one of the most remarkable cities to be found anywhere. It’s both a National Historic Site — its U.S. distinction — and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Meticulous restorations of important buildings now serve as museums, giving visitors intimate glimpses of Caribbean life in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The architecture of Old San Juan recalls similar buildings of the same period seen today in Spain. Others are in the colonial style that developed in the Western Hemisphere in response to the tropical climate. The first fortification, built in 1521, became a residence for the descendants of Juan Ponce de Leon. It was — and is — called “Casa Blanca” — The White House.

Old San Juan architecture

Old San Juan was attacked several times during the centuries of relentless competition among the European empire builders, but its naturally defensive location, along with cleverly designed fortresses, kept the city under Spanish control. It’s one of the very few Caribbean capitals to have been occupied by only one European power. The original harbor of San Juan is an excellent defense against invaders and tropical storms.

Today, Old San Juan is widely renowned for the colorful facades that enliven the houses and shops lining its streets. Fancifully applied paint and varnish make a stroll through the old city a delight. But the city’s charms of today were hard won. The superb, twentieth-century restoration of Old San Juan will, quite possibly, be recalled as the most important phase of its long history.

streets of old san juan

Come experience Puerto Rico’s history at Harbour Lakes, you will be able to explore all that the incredible city of Old San Juan has to offer. With the colorful building and adorable shops lining the streets, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Contact us to book your vacation home rentals in Puerto Rico today.