San Juan  ⎮  Old San Juan  ⎮ La Puerta de San Juan / The San Juan Gate

La Puerta de San Juan / San Juan Gate - Old San Juan Puerto Rico

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For centuries, this doorway served to keep invaders out of the city.  Today, you can walk through the La Puerta de San Juan to explore and experience the splendor and romance of this elegant and vibrant city.  The experience through the door is more magical if you start your walk through Paseo La Princesa.  If you reach it from inside the city, you’ll be greeted with a view of San Juan Bay.  From either direction, be prepared to be wowed by the magic and splendor of the city.

La Puerta de San Juan - Historic places / attractions in Old San Juan Puerto Rico

As you enter, notice the inscription Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.  The verse comes from The Sanctus, “Holy”, a Latin hymn from Catholic liturgy.

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.

Hosanna in excelsis Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;
heaven and earth are full of thy glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord

Hosanna in the highest.

Puerta de San Juan / San Juan Gate- Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Access to and from San Juan was controlled through five gates, or puertas, within the 3 mile wall that enclosed the city.  Each gate had a different function. This gate was San Juan’s formal or symbolic entrance.  Materials, supplies, and everyday traffic entered through other gates.  Guards secured the gate at night.  If you were outside when the gates closed, you remained outside until they reopened in the morning.

San Juan National Historic Site - La Puerta de San Juan - Historic Landmark in Puerto Rico

La Puerta de San Juan is the only remaining gate, making it a precious historic landmark in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The gate was named in honor of Saint John the Baptist.  As you walk through it, pause and notice the thickness of the wall.

If you’re just starting your walking tour, get ready to experience the romance and Old World charm of the historic district.  Dignitaries then went straight into Catedral Basilica Menor San Juan Bautista, best known as San Juan Cathedral, in order to thank God for a safe voyage.

Puerto Rico best historic places to visit - Cathedral of San Juan Bautista

We invite you to follow the same path, by walking straight up the hill on the charming narrow cobblestone street with beautifully restored Spanish colonial buildings painted in bright colors, with elegant balconies and doors.  Old trees provide cool shade as you walk up the path that Spanish dignitaries once walked upon.

Most of the time, as you enter, you may find a popular piragua stand, he also sells water bottles and other refreshments to help you refresh.

Old San Juan - Historic city walls - Places to Visit in Old San Juan Puerto Rico

If you were to continue to pass the San Juan Gate, you can explore the city walls promenade of Paseo del Morro with more great views of the San Juan Bay and Isla de Cabras in the distance.

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Map - La Puerta de San Juan (The San Juan Gate)

Old San Juan - San Juan, Puerto Rico

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San Juan  ⎮  Old San Juan  ⎮ La Puerta de San Juan / The San Juan Gate