A Defense of the 1st Order

A Defense of the 1st Order (HM14SU)

Location: San Juan, San Juan 00926 Navarro County
Country: Puerto Rico
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N 18° 28.224', W 66° 7.416'

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Spain built Castillo San Felipe del Morro, the massive fortification in front of you to guard San Juan harbor. To control the harbor was to control the entrance to the Caribbean Sea and access to the riches of the New World.

Puerto Rico was the first major island with fresh water that ships encountered as they sailed west from Europe. San Juan' excellent harbor was the first secure, deep-water port. The nation that controlled the harbor could protect their merchant ships and send warships out to control shipping to and from the Caribbean. For almost 400 years Spain defended San Juan and its harbor. El Morro was the key to that defense.

Spain built El Morro over a span of 250 years. The oldest part—-a tower that still stands deep within the fort—-was built in 1539. By 1790, El Morro looked similar to the way it does now.

Why Is It Called El Morro?
Castillo San Felipe del Morro owes its name to the headland where it sits. El Morro means the headland—a high point of land that extends into a body of water.

The importance of San Juan for the security of the Spanish empire so impressed King Carlos III that in September 1765 he decreed San Juan should be made "a Defense of the First Order."

HM NumberHM14SU
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 4:17am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)19Q E 803788 N 2044647
Decimal Degrees18.47040000, -66.12360000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 18° 28.224', W 66° 7.416'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds18° 28' 13.44" N, 66° 7' 24.96" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)787
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 200-298 Cll Del Morro, San Juan San Juan 00926, PR
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