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

La Fortaleza - Palacio de Santa Catalina
Book In Advance
$65*
and up
Walking Tour of Old San Juan
Ranked #50 of 182 things to do in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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
713 reviews
377 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 624 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
Helpful?
4 Thank Globebugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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137 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
111 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 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
Helpful?
2 Thank Pajarillos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
326 reviews
200 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 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
Helpful?
1 Thank imdarkside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,067 reviews
624 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 697 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Tweetcoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
42 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 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!

Helpful?
5 Thank Boveda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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