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“Architecturally stunning....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina

La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina
Calle Fortaleza, San Juan 00902-0082, Puerto Rico
787-721-7000
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Top Rated
$75*
and up
Old San Juan Half-Day Sightseeing Tour
Ranked #56 of 172 things to do in San Juan
Activities: Group tours/walking tour, City walk sightseeing
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Attraction details
Owner description: Visitors can take guided tours through this World Heritage Site, a 40-room mansion completed in 1540 that was used to defend against foreign invaders.
Australia
Level Contributor
652 reviews
362 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 583 helpful votes
“Architecturally stunning....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

This beautiful blue/white Governors’ residence is also called ‘La Fortaleza’ (the fortress) and is included in UNESCO’s portfolio of heritage sites. It’s hard to imagine looking at this architecturally stunning building that it was initially built as a defence system for San Juan. What’s visible now is the remodeled, neoclassical Governors Mansion instead of a military structure and the oldest, continuing administrative building in the Western world.

Located at the northern end of Fortaleza Street there are several daily, guided tours in both English/Spanish (not self- guided) that may include the mansion’s Moorish gardens, the dungeon and the chapel.There is $3.00 p/p fee (some suggest it’s free) - ring ahead or check about availability Mon-Fri. We tried after 3:45pm and missed the opportunity to visit (also need to dress in 'appropriate' attire if you are just there on the off chance) – a rear view of the building can be seen from San Juan Bay.

Enjoy your experience!

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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101 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
99 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Picture perfect!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

This is the governor's house in PR. Is located in Old SJ close to Capilla del Cristo and el Morro. Places that can't be missed if you are visiting the island.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
261 reviews
166 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“Only viewed from outside”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

We did not take the inside tour but the outside of the building is attractive. Overall I think this is a nice area to stroll to as you wander the old city.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
693 reviews
372 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 533 helpful votes
“Interesting walking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Great walking around and looking at all the colours, buildings and architecture. Very interesting. Heaps of shops, small boutique hotels and restaurants. Very quaint and charming. Take time to explore all it has to offer without rushing.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Impressive!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

I lived here for over 20 yrs before someone talked me into taking the tour, and boy was I surprized! The grounds, fountains, tapestries, elegantly appointed great room were truly impressive, and the tour was friendly and informative. Do it!

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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