Cathedral of San Juan Bautista sits in the center of Old San Juan. It was originally built in 1521. It was rebuilt in 1540 and 1615 after a hurricane and again in 1625 after a Dutch pirate attack. In 1917, the church was extended and fully restored. On our trip to the cathedral, we were not able to enter due to a wedding that was in progress. We went back the next day and were able to walk right in. Luckily it was very early and there were not too many people around so we pretty much had the church to ourselves. The cathedral is very large and shows its age, but that is part of the beauty. We noticed some scaffolding where it looked like upkeep was being done to ensure that this church remains a place to visit for years to come. Take some time to walk through the rooms, see the beautiful altar and pay a visit to the tomb of Ponce de Leon. Behind the altar, we wandered into some smaller rooms that looked like old storage areas. They had some very beautiful sculpture on the walls. The cathedral is open every day to visitors, but you should check with the church office for hours as they may have changed since I was there. Looking for other things to see in Old San Juan? Check out our favorites! Like this Post? PIN IT!
Old San Juan is a beautiful city that has many historical sites to visit. Blue cobblestone streets and fortresses make you feel as though you have taken a step back into history. The people and the food only add to the magic of this historic city. Aside from the obvious fortresses and beaches, here is a list of 5 things that you must see in Old San Juan. 1. Cathedral of San Juan Bautista San Juan Cathedral a massive church that is located in the center of town. Originally constructed in 1521, it has been rebuilt multiple times due to hurricanes and pirates. The current building was finished in 1917. The exterior of the building is quite unremarkable and plain but in the interior is incredible. 2. Tomb of Juan Ponce de León Spanish explorer and seeker of the fountain of youth, Juan Ponce de León is buried at the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista. Just inside the main cathedral and to the left is the tomb with a lovely statue depicting a woman drinking from a fountain. 3. La Rogativa A seaside statue paying tribute to the women of the city, along with the bishop, who paraded through the streets at night singing hymns, carrying torches, and bells. The British mistook this as evidence that reinforcements that had arrived to protect San Juan. 4. La Casa Estrecha (The Narrow House) Who wouldn’t want to take a peek at one of the narrowest houses in the world… La Casa Estrecha was originally an alleyway before being built. It is about 5 feet wide, goes back 36 feet and is two stories tall. I have heard that this will someday be turned into an art museum. Address: 101 Calle Tetuan 5. Paseo de la Princesa Paseo de la Princesa is located on the south side of Old San Juan near Plaza de Hostos and Plaza Darcenas. This is a beautiful tree lined area to walk through and quite often there are performances and food vendors present. We found one evening that there was a craft fair set up for some local shopping. Like this Post? PIN IT!