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The capital of Puerto Rico is the oldest city under U. Augustine, Florida, founded in is the oldest city in the continental United States. The history of San Juan begins a long time before its official foundation, induring his second voyage, Christopher Columbus landed in Puerto Rico.
He founded the original settlement in Caparra, now known as Pueblo Viejo, behind the almost land-locked harbor just to the west of the present metropolitan area and the city quickly became Spain's most important military outpost in the Caribbean.
A year later, the original settlement was relocated to a nearby coastal islet to the site of what is now called Old San Juan and named Puerto Rico Rich Port. Sometime during the s, confusion over the names led to a switch, the island took the name of Puerto Rico and the town became San Juan.
Today, San Juan is known as La Ciudad Amurallada the walled city and is one of the biggest and best natural harbors in the Caribbean and is the second oldest European-founded city in theAmericas after Santo Domingo, which was officially founded on August 5, The metropolitan area known as San Juan has 3 distinct areas: During the early 16th century, San Juan was the point of departure of Spanish expeditions to charter or settle unknown parts of the New World.
Its fortifications repulsed the English navigator Sir Francis Drake inas well as later attacks. San Juan is the largest processing center of the island, the metropolitan area has facilities for petroleum and sugar refining, brewing and distilling and produces cement, pharmaceuticals, metal products clothing, and tobacco.
The port is one of the busiest in the Caribbean. San Juan is the country's financial capital, and many U. San Juan is center of Caribbean shipping and is the 2nd largest sea port in the area after New York City.
Points of Interest Old San Juan This is a year-old neighborhood originally conceived as a military stronghold. Its 7-square-block area has evolved into a charming residential and commercial district. The streets here are paved with cobbles of adoquine, a blue stone cast from furnace slag; they were brought over a ballast on Spanish ships and time and moisture have lent them their characteristic color.
The city includes more than carefully restored 16th- and 17th-century Spanish colonial buildings. Old San Juan is a main spot for local and internal tourism and attracts many tourists, who also enjoy the gambling casinos, fine beaches, and tropical climate.
More tourists visit San Juan each year than any other spot in the Caribbean. A leisurely foot tour is advisable for those who really want to experience this bit of the Old World, especially given the narrow, steep streets and frequently heavy traffic.
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