History in San juan

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San Juan history is fascinating and there is an abundance of historical sites in the area. San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico and it has a valuable seaport. Over the years it has grown in popularity among tourists and there has been restoration efforts on historical sites. Development has included necessary tourist facilities.

The Spanish Conquest

The island was originally called Boringuen and it was populated by Taino Indians.  Caribbean Indians established some settlements in the area. In 1493 Columbus discovered the island. In 1508 Juan Ponce de Leon was sent by Spain to colonize the island. The area became a Spanish colony and the island's name changed from Boringuen to Puerto Rico. It was used as a stopping point for trading and military ships.  San Juan was founded in 1521. The native Indians fought to defend their lands but many of them were killed or enslaved. There was a large amount of development in the area during this time. In modern times there are still many good examples of Spanish architecture to be seen and many of the buildings have been restored. The Church of San Jose is an old church that is a significant tourist attraction. The church was built during 1522 and it is still being used in current times.  During this time period many Spanish people moved to the area. Sugar cane plants, libraries and hospitals were built. In 1539 San Felipe del Morro castle was built. In 1598 the area was under the control of the British but after a few months they had to withdraw their troops. In 1599 the Spanish started reconstruction on areas that were damaged by conflicts. Throughout the 17th and 18th century San Juan experienced conflicts with countries such as Britain, Spain and Holland. There were also many natural disasters that hit the area such as hurricanes and earthquakes. San Juan Gate was built in 1639.


Originally San Juan largely consisted of small farms. In the 18th century land grants were given out to encourage people to move to the area and to increase development. Coffee and sugar plantations were established. Slaves were bought to the area to work on the plantations. Slavery was ended in 1873.

Spanish - American War

In 1898 when Spain and America were at war, America took the island as their territory and started using the port. There was a surge in the population as people congregated around the port to get work. The rapid population growth caused a rush to provide necessary services and amenities to all the people. The crime rate and unemployment rate rose.

Current Times

In 1992 there were efforts to improve the city. San Juan is now a popular tourist destination. There is an abundance of historical sites as well as beautiful beaches near the city. Museums are also a good place to visit to learn more about the history of San Juan.

February 22, 2010 new by jenna storm

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