Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weathervane Wednesday ~ On a Lighthouse added to a famous Fortress

Weathervane Wednesday is an on-going series of photographs I post weekly.  I started out by publishing only weather vanes from the Londonderry area, but now I've been finding interesting weather vanes from all over New England.  Sometimes these weather vanes are whimsical, or historical, but all are very unique.  Often, my readers tip me off to some very special and unusual weather vanes.

Today's weather vane is not in New England, nor in the Continental United States!

Do you know the location of weather vane #258?  Scroll down to see the answer...






This weathervane was photographed above the lighthouse on the top of the fortress San Felipe del Morro at the entrance to the harbor in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  This fort was built over many centuries, beginning in 1539 by the King of Spain, Charles V.    The walls of the fort are 18 feet thick, and there are six levels of batteries from sea level to 145 feet.  The lighthouse was originally built in 1843, but it was damaged in the Spanish American War in 1898.  The US government rebuilt the lighthouse in 1908.  The castle fortress covers over 70 acres of land on a promontory above the harbor entrance.  The words "El Morro" mean "the promontory" in Spanish.

You can see that the lighthouse weathervane is Spanish because besides the cardinal point "N" and "S" and "E" there is an "O" for the word oeste, which is Spanish for "west".   There is no figure on the vane, just an arrow. 

El Morro was used during World War II when modern concrete bunkers were added facing the sea.  In 1961 the US Army abandoned the fortress and it became part of the United States National Park Service.  In 1983 the San Juan National Historic Site (including the waslls of Old San Juan, the smaller fortress Fortín San Juan de la Cruz (El Canñelo)  and the San Cristobal fortress) were declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. 

We were visiting El Morro and San Juan this past winter to sell my husband's childhood home.  It was a bittersweet moment, because we knew that we would not be visiting Puerto Rico much after selling the home.  My husband spent a lot of time at this last tour of El Morro reminiscing about exploring the fortress as a little boy, and discovering its many nooks and crannies with his Dad.  Although I had been to the El Morro dozens of times, it was the first time I noticed that there was a weathervane there!

For the truly curious:

San Juan National Historic Site website:  http://www.nps.gov/saju/index.htm  

A short video with a history of El Morro   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkG1CZ-7CtE  


Click here to see all the previous Weathervane Wednesday posts!


-------------------------------

Published under a Creative Commons License

Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Weathervane Wednesday ~ On a Lighthouse added to a famous Fortress", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 27, 2016, ( http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2016/04/weathervane-wednesday-on-lighthouse.html:  accessed [access date]).

2 comments:

  1. What a special opportunity to tour El Moro and hear his memories of being there with his father and double fun to notice the weathervane!

    ReplyDelete