Secret Places in Viejo San Juan
“Architecture is an expression of values — the way we build is a reflection of the way we live.”
— Norman Foster
The oldest post-Columbian urban center in the United States and second oldest in the Western Hemisphere, San Juan is the product of centuries of experimentation initiated during the 16th century when the Kingdom of Castile discovered and conquered the Caribbean Sea.
Embracing a bountiful and commodious bay, San Juan was appropriately named puerto rico (rich port). The enclave was crucial to the imperial enterprise and would serve as a link in an international commerce chain. Two different sites around the magnificent harbor were tried until a definitive one was chosen on September 12, 1519. Because the harbor was the artery uniting the embryonic cores to the mother country and the world, initially both chosen sites were known as ciudad del Puerto Rico (city of the Rich Port).
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