Beach Clean-up of Fortín San Juan de la Cruz

The United States National Park Service is sponsoring a clean-up of the Fort Saint John of the Cross (Fortín San Juan de la Cruz, better known as el Cañuelo). The fort, probably the least visited and least well known of all of the Spanish foritifcation of San Juan, is located on the Islas de Cabras in Toa Baja. The clean-up is scheduled for Saturday 29th from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

The 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.

Although difficult for tourists to find, the site features fabulous views of Boca Vieja Cove to the west and San Juan Bay to the east. The fort interior is closed to the public, but one can walk around its walls. Isla de Cabras is connected to the main island by a short bridge.

WikiCommons Creative Commons Contributor Today: Carlo Giovannetti (a.k.a. Thief12)