Puerto Rico Capitol Building

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Puerto Rico Capitol Building

A few steps to the east of Fort San Cristóbal is the Capitol building of Puerto Rico, simply known to Puerto Ricans as “el capitolio”.  Just take one look at this building and you’ll notice that it resembles the US Capitol Building.

“El Capitolio” was inaugurated on February 11, 1929 on a plot of land that was previously part of the Fort San Cristóbal glasis.  Prior to inaugurating the present capitol building the Puerto Rican legislature met at the old “Diputación Provincial” building, where the present Department of State is on the corner of San Francisco and San José streets in Old San Juan.

The building is beautiful. In fact, it was listed in the US Register of Historic Places in 1977. There’s marble and bronze all around and the original 1952 Constitution is there for all to see in the middle of the “rotonda” under its immense dome.

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As for the legislative process, well, let’s say that it’s like a sausage factory.  It isn’t pretty but it needs to be done.

The Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico is a bicameral system consisting of an upper house called the Senate of Puerto Rico, with 31 senators, and the lower House of Representatives of Puerto Rico, which has 53 representatives. Eleven members of each house are elected at-large, and not from any specific legislative district. All members of the Legislative Assembly are elected for a four-year term without term limits.

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