El Arsenal San Juan, PR
historical site


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Year Established: 1791
Description:

El Arsenal is located at the southernmost tip of San Juan in La Puntilla Street. Facing British attacks on the city, the Spanish forces found themselves in need of a naval station, and began the construction of El Arsenal in 1791. A mixture of architectural styles that range from Romanesque to neoclassical, the building housed a small fleet used to patrol the shallow waters and mangrove swamps around the bay. El Arsenal subsequently became a citadel for the marina with storage space, offices, living quarters, workshops, a coast guard, kitchens, and even its own chapel. In 1898 it served as the last stronghold for Spanish rule, and was later defeated by the United States in the Spanish-American War. The building now houses three exhibition galleries as well as a large capacity activity hall where cultural events are celebrated.
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