Fortin San Juan de la Cruz 2

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Willow Grove, United States

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Fortín San Juan de la Cruz (Fort Saint John of the Cross), better known as el Cañuelo, is located on Isla de Cabras, Puerto Rico. It is part of San Juan National Historic Site.

This fort was originally built in wood in 1610. Due to its location at the entrance of the San Juan bay, and in front of the Fort San Felipe del Morro, across the bay, it provided a strategic point to create a crossfire for any invading ships entering the bay, filling a gap in the artillery coverage. It is said that, at one time, there was a huge chain crossing from El Morro to El Cañuelo that was stretched during attacks to provide a physical barricade across the bay entrance.

The fort also guarded the mouth of the Bayamón River on the other side. The fort played an important role during a Dutch attack to the island. At that time it was burnt to ashes. However, the Spaniards rebuilt it in the 1670s.

The square fort is about 80 feet (24 m) per side, with one guerite (garita in Spanish). Originally built on a rocky islet, nearby Isla de Cabras (Goat Island) was artificially expanded to incorporate it.

© Copyright Juan C. Irizarry 2008. Please do not use my work without my direct written permission. All rights reserved.

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