HOME
The Info List - La Fortaleza


--- Advertisement ---



La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
(The Fortress) is the current official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico. It was built between 1533 and 1540 to defend the harbor of San Juan. The structure is also known as Palacio de Santa Catalina (Santa Catalina's Palace). It is the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the New World. It was listed by UNESCO
UNESCO
in 1983 as part of the World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
" La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
and San Juan National Historic Site". During the 1640 reconstruction, the chapel of Santa Catalina, which originally existed outside the walls, was demolished and was integrated to the walls of the structure, resulting in the alternate name Santa Catalina's Palace.

Contents

1 The structure 2 History 3 In literature 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

The structure[edit] La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
was the first defensive fortification built for the city of San Juan, and the first of a series of military structures built to protect the city which included the Fort San Felipe del Morro
Fort San Felipe del Morro
and the Fort San Cristóbal. The construction was authorized by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor as a defense against attacks from Island Caribs
Island Caribs
and the European powers of the time. Initially, the structure consisted of four walls enclosing an interior patio with a circular tower known as the Homage Tower. From the top of the tower, the governor, following military tradition, would take oaths of fidelity at critical moments to the King and Queen of Spain. Later, a second tower named the Austral Tower was constructed. At present, the complex consists of a few attached buildings with formal living quarters in the second floor, and private quarters in the third. It overlooks the high city walls that front the bay, and within the north perimeter of the house are sheltered gardens and a swimming pool. History[edit]

La Fortaleza, circa 1903

Front entrance of La Fortaleza

Since the 16th century, La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
has acted as the residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico, making it the oldest executive mansion in continuous use in the Americas.[3] On November 27, 1822, its traditional status as the executive mansion was made official. The fortress underwent a massive reconstruction in 1846 to change its military appearance into a palatial facade. La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
has been the residence of more than 170 governors of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
and has hosted various dignitaries, including President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy
Jacqueline Kennedy
who stayed in La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
in 1961. King Juan Carlos of Spain
Spain
and Queen Juliana of the Netherlands
Juliana of the Netherlands
are among several heads of state who have stayed in La Fortaleza. In June 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
visited the mansion during a brief trip to the island marking the first visit of an in-office US President to the Fortaleza as well as the Island on official business since Kennedy, 50 years previously to that date. King Felipe VI
King Felipe VI
and Queen Letizia of Spain
Spain
also visited La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
in 2016. La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
has been captured twice by invaders:

1598, George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, attacked San Juan. 1625, General Boudewijn Hendrick (Balduino Enrico) of the Netherlands invaded the city and established himself at La Fortaleza. During the Dutch retreat, the fortress and the city were set ablaze.

According to tradition, in 1898, just before the United States
United States
invaded Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
during the Spanish–American War, the last Spanish governor of the island, Ricardo De Ortega, struck a longcase clock in La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
with his sword, stopping the clock and marking the time at which Spain
Spain
lost control over Puerto Rico.

The bodies of two Nationalists lie in front of La Fortaleza

On October 30, 1950, there was an attempt by a few nationalists to enter La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
in what is known as the San Juan Nationalist revolt, intending to attack then-governor Luis Muñoz Marín. The 5-minute shootout resulted in four Nationalists dead: Domingo Hiraldo Resto, Carlos Hiraldo Resto, Manuel Torres Medina and Raímundo Díaz Pacheco. Three of the guards of the building, among them Lorenzo Ramos, were seriously injured. On October 9, 1960, La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
was designated a United States National Historic Landmark.[1][4] In 1983, La Fortaleza, along with the San Juan National Historic Site, was declared a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
by UNESCO.[5] On May 26, 2004, a man armed with a knife entered the mansion's mailroom located just outside the palace gates and took a receptionist hostage. The 2½ hour stand-off ended after Governor Sila María Calderón entered the building and listened as the hostage-taker read a letter. In literature[edit] In 2011, Puerto Rican author Giannina Braschi wrote the dramatic novel United States
United States
of Banana, featuring climatic scenes of revolution at La Fortaleza. See also[edit]

Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
portal Puerto Rico/Did you know-Puerto Rico? portal

List of United States
United States
National Historic Landmarks in United States commonwealths and territories, associated states, and foreign states National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
listings in metropolitan San Juan, Puerto Rico

References[edit]

Government of Puerto Rico. Executive Mansion: Santa Catalina's Palace. San Juan, Puerto Rico. (in Spanish) World Heritage Committee. Report of 7th Session, Florence 1983. Paris: UNESCO's Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. January 1984.

^ a b "La Fortaleza". National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-06-28.  ^ National Park Service
National Park Service
(2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.  ^ http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object.cfm?key=35&objkey=5034 ^ McKithan, Cecil N. (August 1981). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: La Fortaleza" (PDF). National Park Service.  and Accompanying photos and diagrams, undated ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to La Fortaleza.

Government of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
- Executive Mansion: Santa Catalina's Palace (in Spanish) UNESCO
UNESCO
- World Heritage Center: La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
Historic Site Information Visiting information Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. PR-54, "La Fortaleza, Calle Fortaleza, San Juan, San Juan Municipio, PR"

v t e

United States
United States
governors' residences

Alabama Alaska Arizona† Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho† Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts† Michigan

Summer

Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Puerto Rico Rhode Island† South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming Virgin Islands

† - No official residence

v t e

U.S. National Register of Historic Places

Topics

Architectural style categories Contributing property Historic district History of the National Register of Historic Places Keeper of the Register National Park Service Property types

Lists by states

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Lists by insular areas

American Samoa Guam Minor Outlying Islands Northern Mariana Islands Puerto Rico Virgin Islands

Lists by associated states

Federated States of Micronesia Marshall Islands Palau

Other areas

District of Columbia Morocco

Portal

v t e

World Heritage Sites in the United States

Northeast

Independence Hall Statue of Liberty

Midwest

Cahokia

South

Everglades Great Smoky Mountains Mammoth Cave Monticello
Monticello
and the University of Virginia Poverty Point San Antonio Missions

West

Carlsbad Caverns Chaco Culture National Historical Park Grand Canyon National Park Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park Kluane-Wrangell–St. Elias-Glacier Bay-Tatshenshini-Alsek1 Mesa Verde Olympic National Park Pueblo de Taos Papahānaumokuākea Redwood Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park1 Yellowstone National Park Yosemite National Park

Territories

La Fortaleza
La Fortaleza
and San Juan National Historic Site

1

.