to the town of
SAN JUAN , Puerto Rico
People are know as
San Juan Bautista
The town of SAN JUAN in Puerto Rico was founded in 1521
Housing units : 182101
Estimated population as of 2006 is 426,618
The zipcode is 00926
|Area in square miles
|Density per square mile of land area
The Wards (Barrios) are:
Puerto Nuevo, Caimito, Cupey, Monacillos, Quebrada Arenas, Sabana Llana y Tortugo,Viejo San Juan, Santurce, Hato Rey, Río Piedras.
Location of SAN JUAN
in the Map of Puerto Rico
San Juan (IPA: [sa? hwa?]), named after Saint John the Baptist, (Spanish: San Juan Bautista) is the capital and largest city of Puerto Rico. The latest census estimates place the city's population at 433,733, making it the 42nd-largest city under the jurisdiction of the United States.
San Juan was founded by Spanish colonists in 1521 and is the oldest city in Puerto Rico as well as in the United States, and the second oldest city in the Americas.
Today, San Juan serves as one of Puerto Rico's most important seaport, and is the island's manufacturing, financial, cultural, and tourist center. The population of the metropolitan area (Spanish: area metropolitana), including San Juan and the municipalities of Bayamón, Guaynabo, Cataño, Canóvanas, Caguas, Toa Alta, Toa Baja, Carolina and Trujillo Alto is about 2 million inhabitants; hence about half the population of Puerto Rico now lives and works in this area.
In 1508, Juan Ponce de León founded the original settlement Caparra (named after the province Caceres, Spain, the birthplace of then-governor of Spain's Caribbean territories Nicolas de Ovando), which today is known as the Pueblo Viejo sector of Guaynabo just to the west of the present San Juan metropolitan area. A year later, the settlement was moved to a site then called Puerto Rico, Spanish for "rich port" or "good port", after its similar geographical features to the island of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. In 1521, the newer settlement was given its formal name, "San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico", in honor of John the Baptist, following the tradition of christening the town with both its formal name and the name which Christopher Columbus had originally given the island. The ambiguous use of "San Juan Bautista" and "Puerto Rico" for calling both the city and the island led to a reversal in practical use by most inhabitants: by 1746 the name for the city (Puerto Rico) had become that of the entire island, while the name for the Island (San Juan Bautista) had become the name for the city. San Juan as a settlement of the Spanish Empire, was used by trade and military ships traveling from Spain as the first stopover in the Americas, but also because of its prominence in a network of fortifications built by the Spanish to protect the transportation of gold and silver from the New World to Europe. For these reasons San Juan became a target of the foreign powers of the time.
The city saw attacks from the English led by Sir Francis Drake in 1595 and by George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland in 1598. Artillery from San Juan's fort, El Morro, repelled Drake; however Clifford managed to land troops and lay siege to the city. A few months into the British occupation Clifford was forced to abandon his expedition when his troops began to suffer from exhaustion and sickness. In 1625 the city was sacked by Dutch forces lead by Boudewijn Hendricksz, but El Morro withstood the assault and was not taken. The English returned in 1797 during the French Revolutionary Wars led by Sir Ralph Abercromby who had just conquered Trinidad. His army laid siege to the city but was forced to withdraw in defeat as the Puerto Rican defenses proved more resilient than those of Trinidad. Various events and circumstances including liberalized commerce with Spain, the opening of the island to immigrants, and the colonial revolutions led to an expansion of San Juan and other Puerto Rican settlements in the late 18th and early 19th century.
In May 1898, United States Navy ships, among them the USS Detroit, USS Indiana, USS New York, USS Amphitrite, USS Terror and USS Montgomery, commanded by Rear Admiral William T. Sampson, bombed San Juan during the Spanish-American War, though the city was not occupied. However, on July 25, General Nelson A. Miles landed at Guánica (in southwestern Puerto Rico) with 3,300 soldiers and took over the island with little resistance. Spain ceded the island to the United States later in the same year by the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
 Geography and urban structure San Juan is located in the north-east coast of Puerto Rico. The city lies north of Aguas Buenas and Caguas; east of Guaynabo and Bayamón; and west of Carolina and Trujillo Alto.
Old San Juan occupies the western end of a rocky islet at the mouth of San Juan Bay. During the 20th century the main population centers surged well beyond the walls of the old city and onto Puerto Rico's main island, and merged with the existing settlements east and south of Old San Juan. As a result the city is now composed of a variety of neighborhoods.
 Old San Juan
Main article: Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
In Spanish colonial times most of the urban population resided in what is now known as Old San Juan. This sector is located on the western half of a small island called the Isleta de San Juan, which is connected to the mainland by bridges and a causeway. The small island, which comprises an area of 47 sq. mi. 122 km²., also hosts the working class neighborhood of Puerta de Tierra and most of Puerto Rico's central government buildings, including those of the Commonwealth's Capitol. The main central part of the city is characterized by narrow cobblestone streets and picturesque colonial buildings, some of which date back to the 16th and 17th century. Sections of the old city are surrounded by massive walls and several defensive structures and notable forts. These include the 16th century Fort San Felipe del Morro and 17th century Fort San Cristóbal, both part of San Juan National Historic Site, and the 16th century El Palacio de Santa Catalina, also known as La Fortaleza, which serves as the governor's mansion. Other buildings of interest predating the 20th century are the Ayuntamiento or Alcaldía (City Hall), the San José Church (1523) and the adjacent Hotel El Convento, the former house of the Ponce de León family known as Casa Blanca, the Teatro Tapia, the former Spanish barracks (now Museum of Ballajá), La Princesa (former municipal jail, now a history museum), and the municipal cemetery of Saint María Madgalena of Pazzis, located just outside the city walls.
 The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista (construction began in the 1520s) is also located in Old San Juan, and contains the tomb of the Spanish explorer and settlement founder Juan Ponce de León.
Old San Juan, also known as the "old city", is the main cultural tourist attraction in Puerto Rico; its bay side is lined by dock slips for large cruise ships. In 2007, the government of Puerto Rico announced a large expansion project to the bay side piers called the San Juan Waterfront at a projected cost of $1.5 billion, which will include docking space for 60 megayachts, 900 total hotel rooms, 1,850 housing units, over 400,000 square feet of commercial space and a new recreational park.
 Other districts
Main article: Subdivisions of San Juan, Puerto Rico
East of Old San Juan lies the upscale tourist oriented neighbourhood of Condado, which occupies land that used to be owned by entrepreneur Pablo Ubarri Capetillo, a Spanish railroad developer and Count of San José de Santurce under the Spanish colonial period. Beaches such as nearby Ocean Park, popular with swimmers, surfers and kitesurfers, are found all along the district's Atlantic coastline which is also the locus of numerous hotels. Near Condado are two separate business districts, Santurce and Miramar. Miramar is mainly a residential area rising south of the Condado Lagoon. It comprises the former barrio of Miraflores, as well as drained marshland and landfill over which was built San Juan's first airport, the Isla Grande airport (proper name: Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport). Miramar now hosts the Puerto Rico Convention Center as well as some of San Juan Harbor's cruise ship piers. In 2005 Miramar was designated an historical district of Puerto Rico.
Santurce, originally named San Mateo de Cangrejos (Saint Matthew of the Crabs), was a settlement for freed African slaves during the early days of the city. After Pablo Ubarri sought permission to link San Juan with Río Piedras proper via steam tramway in 1878, travel times where shortened which stimulated the colonization of the district. At the beginning of the twentieth century an electric trolley was installed, the township was split into three parts, and its main settlement merged with the city and was renamed using the Spanish spelling of Santurtzi (Saint George in Basque), Ubarri's birthplace in Vizcaya, Spain. The "Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico" (Art Museum of Puerto Rico) and other important cultural venues are located in Santurce.
South of Santurce is Hato Rey, former municipio of Río Piedras. Hato Rey was grazing ground for cattle owned by the royal government (hence its name, the King's Herd in Spanish) as early as the 16th century, and is now considered the financial center of the island. A section of this district is often referred to as the "Golden Mile" (actually 0.47 miles long) due in part to the many banks and businesses located there.
In the southern part of the city is the mixed use and socially diversified community of Río Piedras. Founded in the mid 1850s, Río Piedras was a separate town which hosted sugar cane plantations and the estates of some of San Juan's wealthiest inhabitants (as well as their working class staff). The Spanish colonial governors also had their summer home there on land which eventually gave way to the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico. In 1951 the municipalities of San Juan and Río Piedras were merged to redefine San Juan's current city limits. Today Río Piedras comprises the largest area of the municipality of San Juan. and is home to the renowned, traditional “ Plaza del Mercado” (Río Piedras Marketplace), and the San Juan Botanical Garden. San Juan is subdivided into 18 wards (barrios), 16 of which fall within the former (until 1951) municipio of Rio Piedras. Eight barrios are further subdivided in to sub-barrios, including both barrios of the former municipio of San Juan.
Reference: Wikipedia.org / census.gov / mapquest.com