Fuerte San Cristóbal San Juan, PR
From the highest level of San Cristóbal, known as the Caballero, one may observe the entire city and its bay.
historical site


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By 1638, a second fortress dominated San Juan’s northeastern front, following the city wall from El Morro. El Fuerte San Cristóbal, named after the hill it sits on, was built because of Spain’s need to expand its defenses following the Dutch invasion of 1625. As El Morro defended the city the from northern seaward attacks, San Cristóbal would protect the city from eastern attacks by land. Irish Field Marshall Alejandro O’Reilly and Royal Engineer Thomas O’Daly were hired by Spain to create the ingenious design for the fortress, recognized as the largest in the Americas. Through its structure we can admire the French style of fortification, which illustrates the principle known as “defense in depth.” The fortress was planned as a series of interconnected structures that formed various lines of defense independent of each other. If one were to be breached, it would not compromise the defense capabilities of soldiers situated elsewhere. From the highest level of San Cristóbal, known as the Caballero, one may observe the entire city and its bay.
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