Fort “San Jerónimo”

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Fort San Jeronimo del Boquerón

Fort San Jerónimo del Boquerón is a small fort (a little larger than a Ravelin) located on the easternmost tip of the Islet of San Juan. It used to belong to the exterior defense system of Fort San Cristóbal and was one of the few Spanish fortifications on the Island that actually saw military action during colonial times.

It was instrumental in defending the east end of the San Juan Islet from attacks by Sir Francis Drake in 1595, Sir George Clifford (the Earl of Cumberland) in 1598 and Boudewijn Hendricksz in 1625.

More recently, in the year 2007, San Jerónimo lost its final battle —this time against sheer greed and urban sprawling— when Paseo Caribe (a beachfront property complex that took up every available inch of land surrounding Fort San Jerónimo) was built against the will of many Puerto Ricans.

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The struggle went on for years and (as it often happens) economic power prevailed over common sense.  Well, sort of, because the so-called victory coincided with the real estate crash and the apartments have been just sitting there, deteriorating and waiting to be purchased.

Today Fort San Jerónimo is a sad, abandoned structure that is just eroding away.  And tourists pass by it with no clue of its glorious past. The developers built a paved sidewalk along the shoreline leading to the fort, but the structure is closed and there are no signs indicating that this is, in fact, the way to the fort.

Maybe someday the US Park System will take control of this historical landmark and bring it back to life.

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