In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered Puerto Rico. In 1508, Ponce de León founded the original settlement - Caparra - now known as Pueblo Viejo. San Juan was founded in 1521 and is the capital of Puerto Rico.
San Juan is known as "La Ciudad Amurallada" (The Walled City).
During the early 16th century, San Juan was the departure point of Spanish expeditions to charter or settle unknown parts of the New World. Its fortifications repulsed the English navigator Sir Francis Drake in 1595, as well as later attacks. Two such forts are 'El Morro' and 'Castillo de San Cristóbal'.
El Morro (short for 'San Felipe del Morro') was completed in 1589 with additions over many years. The area (74 acres) was designated a National Historic Site in 1949. Castillo de San Cristóbal was built in 1634 (completed in 1771). It was designated a National Historic Site.
On September 20, 2017 San Juan took a direct hit from Category 4 Hurricance Maria.
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