Plaza de San José & Iglesia de San José San Juan, PR
the church is the only true gothic building resting on U.S soil and the second oldest church in the New World
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La Plaza de San José is located at the intersection of San Sebastián and Del Cristo Street. The plaza is host to La Iglesia San José. Previously dedicated to Saint Thomas Aquinas, the church is the only true gothic building resting on U.S soil and the second oldest church in the New World. Restoration efforts for the church have uncovered some of the earliest murals in the Americas. In the center of the Plaza San José stands a bronze statue of Spanish conquistador Juan Poncé de León, the first Governor of Puerto Rico appointed by the Spanish Crown. The statue was made in New York in 1882 out of melted cannons. These had been seized from the English militia after their late 18th century attack on the city. Around the plaza you will find various local bars, restaurants, and a couple of museums. It once offered the island its very first university studies. Dating back to the 16th century, these murals remained buried under layers of concrete later added to the church’s walls.
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