|Fortín San Juan de la Cruz (Fort Saint John of the Cross), better known as el Cañuelo, is located on Isla de Cabras, Puerto Rico. It is part of San Juan National Historic Site. |
This 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.