PVII Gallery Magic: Sutton Place

  • El Morro: Walkway to the fort over the dry moat
    Located on a point jutting out from the San Juan harbor, the original fort was begun in 1540 and completed in 1589. Although it's called El Moro, it was really named for King Phillip II of Spain and called San Felipe del Morro. Now it is a National Park.
  • El Morro:The grassy park
    Although this grassy plain on either side of the road is now ideal for picnics or just enjoying the sun, it was a planned part of the fortification, giving an open field of fire to the fort's cannons.
  • El Morro: In front of the fort
    Guard towers stud the walls lining the approach to the fort and are peppered all about the structure itself.
  • El Morro: In front of the fort
    Even though the "Esplanade" provides no cover, the only successful attack on the fort was launched from it. In 1598 George Clifford, Duke of Cumberland, captured El Moro by attacking from the land. However, his troops were so weakened by dysentery that they were only able to hold it for six weeks. before withdrawing.
  • El Morro:Lighthouse and walls from outside
    The walls visible from the open area are the retaining walls of the dry moat not the actual wall of the fortress.
  • El Morro: The lighthouse is just visible
    View on the seaward side shows the lighthouse
  • El Morro: Monument and historical plaque
  • El Morro:Juxtaposition of past and present
    Standing by the monument to the 500 years of history represented by El Moro, Robert looks out over San Juan Bay to today's industrial plants on the other side.
  • El Morro: Entry Gates over Dry Moat
    The gates originally had a drawbridge.
  • El Morro: Coat of Arms
    Presented to the San Juan National Historical Site in 1964 by the government of Spain, hanging above the gate is King Charles II's coat of arms. The additional fortifications were completed during his reign in the 1700s.
  • El Morro:Flags
    Puerto Rico became a US Territory at the end of the Spanish-American War. US battleships shelled El Moro and San Cristobal in 1898. The main battery at the point was damaged. It was an active military post from the 1900s until 1961 when it was turned over to the National Park Service as a museum.
  • El Morro: From El Morro toward San Juan
    From above and inside main gates, the city of San Juan is on the other side of the grassy park. Part of the dry moat is visible on the bottom right. It sinks the fort's profile out of sight behind thick earthen mounds and forces enemy soldiers to run uphill into blasts of cannon fire.
  • El Morro:The original tower was built at the point in 1539
    The point or moro which gives rise to its name is easily visible from the top ramparts. In 1595, Sir Francis Drake became yet another who failed to take El Moro from the sea. Nor did he escape unscathed. Guns mounted at the point formed the "water battery" and put a cannonball through the cabin of Drake's flagship.
  • El Morro: Lighthouse
    The first lighthouse at El Moro was constructed in 1843. This one was built in 1908 by the US Navy
  • El Morro: Tunnel ramp
    The fort is a maze of tunnels, dungeons, barracks, outposts and ramps.
  • El Morro: Cannon port
    The original fort was enlarged and reinforced during the late 1700s. Rising 140 feet above the sea, its 18-foot-thick wall proved a formidable defense. During WWII, an underground bunker and concrete artillery observation posts were added. Modern artillery pieces were replaced by these antique cannons when El Moro became a museum.
  • El Morro: Cannon Balls
    The upper levels provided spectacular views of the harbor and coastline as well as storage areas.
  • El Morro: Sherry
    As you can see from her clothes and hair, the wind on the top ramparts is quite strong.
  • El Morro: Gun emplacements on the Bay side
  • El Morro: From gun emplacement bay side
  • El Morro: Barracks
  • El Morro: Watchtower
    One of the many watchtowers on the outer walls facing the bay and just past the barracks
  • El Morro: San Juan Bay
    El Moro commands the entrance to San Juan Bay. From here, it's easy to see why it was only captured once.
  • El Morro:San Juan Bay
    A slip of land jutting into the bay
  • El Morro:Chapel
  • El Morro: Armor
    Many of the armor pieces in the museum show the final metal craftsmanship for which Spain was famous.
  • El Morro: Sword hilts
    These swords were standing upright
  • El Morro: More sword hilts
  • El Morro: Main plaza
  • El Morro: Walkway of main plaza
    El Moro is quite a maze. This walkway leads to the main plaza and is easily covered by the upper level.
  • El Morro: Robert guarding the fort
    El Moro is studded with small, circular sentry boxes called "garitas" that have become a national symbol.
  • El Morro: At the lighthouse
    Walking from the lighthouse towards the upper seaward ramparts.
  • El Morro: San Cristobal is visible from El Morro
    Castillo de San Cristóbal (San Cristóbal Fort) is El Moro's partner in the city's defense. Built in 1634 (completed in 1771), it was considered the Gibraltar of the West Indies.
  • El Morro: Caribbean side of San Juan and San Cristobal
    San Cristóbal was supported by a massive system of outworks which provided defense in depth and is is one of the largest defenses ever built in the Americas. It rose 150 feet, covering 27 acres of land. As if its size and height weren't sufficient to intimidate enemies, its intricate modular design was sure to foil them. A strategic masterpiece, it features five independent units, each connected by moat and tunnel; each fully self-sufficient should the others fall. Parts of it were destroyed to provide growing room for the city of San Juan. Like El Moro, it is now part of the National Park System.
  • El Morro: Seaward side of San Juan from El Morro
  • El Morro:View of San Juan
    From the lighthouse side opposite the bay, the city of San Juan stretches backwards. It was captured by the Dutch in 1625 but they were not able to capture El Moro
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