Explore The Mirasol Military Fort – ‘El Fortin Conde de Mirasol’
The Count of Mirasol Fort (El Fortin Conde de Mirasol) is situated on top of a hill in Vieques, which is an island-municipality of Puerto Rico. The Fort has a great view of Isabel Segunda, a district of the island named after Queen Isabel II.
The construction of the Mirasol Fort began in 1845 under the orders of the Count of Mirasol, don Rafael Aristegui y Velez, who was the governor of Puerto Rico at that time. The military structure is located on the northern coast of Vieques and was one of the last forts to be built by the Spanish. The Fort was not only home to the island’s armed forces, but it also acted as a jail for island. The Mirasol Fort was equipped with cannons and all the armor that would be needed in defense of the island.
It took over ten years to complete the Count of Mirasol Fort that would provide the Spanish with the power to control the island. The Fort would also help the Spanish to defend the island from French, Dutch, British and Danish colonists, as well as any pirates wanting to take over. It was finally completed in 1855 after much additional expense that had not been included in the original estimation.
The Count of Mirasol Fort remained unoccupied for many decades but since 1991 it has been used as the Vieques Museum of Art and History and the Vieques Historic Archives. The Mirasol Fort Museum has many show cases filled with artifacts that come from many of the early inhabitants that lived in Vieques before the Spanish came. The museum also has an outstanding collection made up of objects and relics from the Taíno Indians who occupied this territory hundreds of years ago. The Count of Mirasol Fort contains displays on the island’s production of sugar cane and on the U.S Navy who occupied this area for a number of years.
The Count of Mirasol Fort is open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday at 10:00 am to 16:00 pm every week. Visitors to the museum are not expected to pay an entrance fee but a donation of $2 dollars is encouraged. If you need to contact the Fort you can either write to 471 Calle Magnolia, Isabel Segunda, Vieques, Puerto Rico, or you can phone 787/741-1717.