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Sights

Fortin de San Geronimo de Boqueron

The small but interesting Fortín de San Gerónimo de Boquerón was built in 1609. You will find this relatively small, defensive battery with its four cannons at the Boquerón beach. Governor Don Gabriel de Rojas commissioned the construction of the small Fort as a way of protecting the islet of San Juan from any sea vessels that may try to attack it in any way.

At that stage the government was under Spanish rule and, in an effort to protect the city, defensive posts were built and placed by the eastern entrance of the bay. It is important to keep in mind the fact that Old San Juan, although a part of Puerto Rico, is separated from the mainland by water since it is on a little island. This made Old San Juan a much more accessible target should any ships want to attack. Thus it was vital to ensure that there was some type of defense available that could be put into use if the need arose. It was for this reason that the San Geronimo Fort was built.

The fort later proved useful in defending the islet from the attacks of the British naval force in 1797 when approximately sixty ships came into the bay with nearly four thousand men. The Fort and with the brilliant strategy created by Governor Ramón de Castro allowed the men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Don Teodmiro del Toro to resist the British naval force successfully.

The Fortin de San Gerónimo de Boquerón was originally situated on the eastern side of San Juan in the Puerta de Tierra area. After the attack by the British the fort lay in pieces and it took a few years before it was renovated to the point of being useful again. In the 18th century the fort was moved to Condado near the Puerto Rico lagoon in San Juan. Its defenses were gradually improved during the course of the century and it continued to act as a military post until the early 20th century.

In 1983 the San Gerónimo Fort was added to the list of the National Register of Historic Places and today it is owned by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture but managed by the Caribe Hilton Hotel. Unfortunately the Fort has deteriorated a lot over the years since it has not received the attention it should have over the years. This means that it is out of bounds for visitors since it is structurally unstable. Currently efforts are underway to try and prevent any more damage to the centuries old Fort but it may still be a while before the structure is able to receive visitors once more.