Discover Ponce's NeoClassical Buildings and Museums
Founded in 1694, Ponce has a population of about 200,000 people and is the second largest city in Puerto Rico. Ponce is also known as "Ciudad Senorial" because of its many beautiful neoclassical buildings and frontage.
The city has some beautiful plazas, churches, magnificent fountains, highly decorated homes and a very unique fire station. In recent years, many millions of dollars have been spent preserving and restoring the colonial character of the city. Ponce is considered to be a national treasure so if you want to immerse yourself in Puerto Rican culture and history then Ponce is the place to visit. The city offers amazing historical and cultural attractions such as the world class Ponce Museum of Art with its stunning architecture that features seven interconnected hexagons, glass cupolas and a pair of curved staircases. The Museum also offers visitors the chance to view 1000 paintings and 400 sculptures, including the finest collections of European works in the Caribbean by such masters as Rubens, Rodin and Velasquez.
Other interesting buildings around the plaza include the Casa Alcaldia (the city hall), which is the oldest colonial building in Ponce, dating back to the 1840's. The downtown plaza is a worthwhile stop with its beautiful fountains, a stunning cathedral and an old red and black wooden fire station that is still in use today.
For the people that prefer the shopping malls, the "La Guancha Paseo Tablado" (the boardwalk) will suit your needs. The boardwalk is Ponce's lively local gathering place and shopping center. It features a pier that is used as the departure point for a regularly scheduled weekend ferry trip to Coffin Island - a small island with unspoiled beaches that are ideal for sunbathers who wish to bronze their bodies. It also has a marked underwater "snorkeling trail" with beautiful undersea scenery.