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Where to go in Puerto Rico: Old San Juan


This article is from the Puerto Rico FAQ, by Zeydy Ortiz Laureano zortizl@eos.ncsu.edu with numerous contributions by others.

Where to go in Puerto Rico: Old San Juan

The old capital city (pop. 438,000) of Puerto Rico has always
fascinated, but now, after all the restoration work that was done for
the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage, it's a must-see. Projects
included restoring the Esplanade along the waterfront to its
19th-century splendor and adding new shops and restaurants opposite
the cruise ship docks. The original town, Old San Juan, founded in
1521 (the oldest capital in the USA), sits on a small peninsula
facing the Atlantic Ocean.
Image: < http://hpprdk01.prd.hp.com/images/oldsj.gif >

      > LA CASITA             (787) 722- 1709      Open daily
      Puerto Rico Tourism Company information center

      > LA PRINCESA           (787) 721-2400       Gallery of island art:
                                                   Open M-F  9:00am-noon,
      Headquarters of the Tourism Company
      Image: < http://hpprdk01.prd.hp.com/images/princesa.gif >
      > LA FORTALEZA          (787) 721-7000       M-F 9:00am-4:00pm
        (the fortress)        ext. 2211, 2358      except holidays
      Tours in  English  every hour and in  Spanish  every half hour; 
      proper attire required.
      Image: < http://hpprdk01.prd.hp.com/images/fortalez.gif >
      > CASA BLANCA           (787) 724-4102       Tu-Su: 9:00am-noon,
        (white house)                              1:00pm-4:30pm
      Museum of  family life in  16th- and  17th-century  Puerto Rico  and
      an ethnographic  museum  with  a  miniature  re-creation of a  Taino
      > FUERTE SAN FELIPE     (787) 729-6960       Museum Open Daily
        DEL MORRO (El Morro fort)                  9:00am-5:00pm
      One of the city's military fortifications,  contains a small museum; 
      tours, orientation,  and video presentation available in English and
      Images: < http://hpprdk01.prd.hp.com/images/morro.gif >,
      < http://hpprdk01.prd.hp.com/images/morro2.gif >, and
      < http://hpprdk01.prd.hp.com/images/morro3.gif >
      > ASILO DE BENEFICENCIA   (787) 724-5949     Galleries Open
        (home for the poor)     (787) 724-5477     W-Su: 9:00am-4:30pm
      Headquarters  of  the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and several
      changing  exhibition galleries
      > CUARTEL DE BALLAJA    (787) 724-5052       Tu-F: 10:00am-4:00pm
        (Ballaja barracks)                         Sa-Su: 11:00am-5:00pm
      The  Museum of the Americas (in the second floor)  features changing 
      exhibitions, archaeological finds of the Ballaja area and an exhibit 
      of crafts in the Americas
      > IGLESIA DE SAN JOSE    (787) 725-7501      M-Sa: 8:30am-4:00pm
       (San Jose church)                           Sunday mass: 12:15pm
      Second oldest church in the Western Hemisphere 
      Image: < http://hpprdk01.prd.hp.com/images/sanjose.gif >
      > CONVENTO DE LOS DOMINICOS (787) 721-6866   M-Sa: 9:00am-5:00pm
       (Dominican convent)
      Institute of Puerto Rican Culture book and music book store 
      > MUSEO DE PABLO CASALS (787) 723-9185       Tu-Sa: 9:30am-5:30am 
       (Casals museum)
      Collection  of  memorabilia from the master cellist's legacy  to the 
      people of  Puerto Rico holds manuscripts, photographs and videotapes 
      of  Casals Festival concerts
      > CASA DE LAS CONTRAFUERTES (787) 724-5477   W-Su: 9:00am-4:30pm
        (house of buttresses) 
      Periodic exhibitions are held in its Museum of Latin American Prints  
      (second floor).   The  small Pharmacy Museum displays a 19th-century 
      drugstore complete with scales and  old bottles 
      > CATEDRAL DE SAN JUAN  (787) 722-0861       Daily: 8:30am-4:00pm 
        (San Juan cathedral)
      Contains the marble tomb of the island's  first governor  Juan Ponce
      de Leon and the relic of San Pio, a Roman martyr 
      > CENTRO NACIONAL DE    (787) 722-0621       M-F: 9:30am-5:00pm
        (Popular Arts  and Crafts Center)
      A variety of island crafts are displayed and offered for sale
      > CASA DEL LIBRO        (787) 723-0354       Tu-Sa: 11:00am-4:30pm
        (house of books)                           except holidays
      Small  museum  and  library  devoted  to  the art  of  printing and 
      > CAPILLA DE CRISTO                          Tu: 10:00am-3:30pm
        (Christ chapel)
      Image: < http://hpprdk01.prd.hp.com/images/ccristo.gif >
      > MUSEO DE ARTE E       (787) 724-1875       M-F: 8:00am-4:00pm
       (museum of art and history)
      Galleries for changing exhibitions
      > CASA DE LOS DOS       (787) 724-5477       M-F: 8:00am-4:00pm
        ZAGUANES (house of the 
        two foyers)
      > MUSEO DEL NINO        (787) 722-3791       Tu-Th: 9:30am-3:30pm
        (children's museum)                        Sa-Su: 11:00am-4:00pm
      Educational exhibits for  children 
      > MUSEO FELISA RINCON   (787) 723-1897       M-F: 9:00am-4:00pm
        DE GAUTIER (Rincon de                      except holidays
        Gautier museum) 
      Former home of one of San Juan's  most popular mayors
      > EL ARSENAL            (787) 724-5949       W-Su: 9:00am-4:30pm
        (the arsenal)
      Center for changing  art exhibitions
      > TEATRO TAPIA          (787) 722-0407       Call for information
        (Tapia theater)
      Setting for cultural events
      > EL CAPITOLIO          (787) 721-7305       M-F - Reservations
        (the capitol building)                     requested
      Seat of the bicameral legislature of Puerto Rico with galleries,
      friezes, mosaics and exhibition of Puerto Rico's constitution 
      Images: < http://hpprdk01.prd.hp.com/images/capitol.gif >, and
      < http://hpprdk01.prd.hp.com/images/capitol2.gif >


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