Puerto Rico
Old San Juan
Walking Tour Part 2
A section with many worthwhile museums.

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Old San Juan Attractions & Landmarks


4. Plaza de San Jose :
Flanked by some of the most impressive and important buildings in San Juan . The plaza itself seems bland until you realize the statue of Ponce de Leon, presiding over the plaza square, is made of captured British cannon, seized after the unsuccessful attack of Sir Ralph Abercromby in 1797.

5. Pablo Casals Museum : On Plaza de San Jose , the museum is dedicated to the cellist who came to Puerto Rico to live in 1957. The unimposing building contains manuscripts, photographs and a library of videotapes of Festival Casals concerts that may be played on request. Open Tuesday-Saturday 9:30-5:30;723-9185.

6. San Jose Church : Dominating the Plaza de San Jose and dating back to 1532, this is the second-oldest church in the Western Hemisphere . Dating back to 1532, it has a remarkable series of vaulted Gothic ceilings.

The figure of Christ of the Cross on the church's left side is believed to date from the mid 16th-century. The family of Ponce de Leon, the first governor, worshipped here. He was buried in the church from the 16th to the 20th century. Open Monday-Saturday 8:30-4. Mass at noon Sunday; 725-7501.

7. Quincentennial Square : Located on Old San Juan's highest hill, the square was built to celebrate the 500th anniversary of America 's discovery by Christopher Columbus. A 40-foot high, totem-like monument in black granite and ceramics rises from the square.

8. Las Americas Museum : The museum highlights folk art not only from Puerto Rico but all over the Americas . Open Tuesday-Friday from 10-4; On weekends from 11-5; 724-5052.

9. School of Fine Arts : Facing El Morro, this imposing building is not a tourist attraction but an institute of learning. Student shows are offered seasonally.

10. Institute of Puerto Rican Culture : Formerly the Hospital de Beneficia, this impressively restored building provides a good look at the island's culture and geology from prehistoric times. Open daily except Monday from 9-5; 724-0700.

11. Plaza de Beneficia: Grab a bench and relax in this small park.   

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