elyunque.com

PUERTO RICAN CULTURE AND A MUSEUM LIST


Ballaja oldmilitary barracks and museum galleries in old san juan

ABOVE: BALLAJA HAS EXCELLENT EXHIBITIONS IN ITS MUSEUM ROOMS, SECOND FLOOR. details below

What is local culture? San Juan today is a thriving cosmopolitan city. A modern day 'Sanjuanero' would consider culture to be attending a performance at 'Bellas Artes' (center for the performing arts), visiting the art galleries in Old San Juan on Gallery night, dining in one of the many popular restaurants in Old San Juan, Isla Verde, Hato Rey etc. Attending the new movie theater for foreign films on the lower side of Ballaja ( Old San Juan).

Perhaps most revealing would be a trip to the Plaza Las Americas shopping mall, a super mall that does an tremendous business. Shops, movie theaters, food courts all would attest to the slight cultural differences found in Puerto Rico and also the similarities. You would have to leave the city of San Juan to see the 'countryside' (which is also quickly changing and leaving the past behind).

The Mercado de Santurce ( market place) is a nice look around, good food too. Friday nights it's one big party with music as well.

For the visitor to Puerto Rico, local culture often means a look at the past. Memories of another time and era. Danzas, Bombas and Plenas ( all dances) Where can this 'Cultural Heritage' best be found?

Museums. A day or two in Old San Juan walking the streets and visiting the museums. Ponce has several interesting museums. San German has the Port Coeli. Guayama has Casa Cautiño on the plaza and is one of the cleaner and more attractive small towns.

Poets passage has poetry readings and lunch and souvenirs in Old san Juan

Above: 'The Poets Passage is a cute gift shop and lunch place and poetry readings! Right near Plaza de Armas, center of Old San Juan.

Traditions: Three Kings Day Patrons Saints Day Festival of Loiza Aldea

LEGENDS of Loiza Aldea and the artist Samuel Lind.

El Yunque Gallery with artist Davids' very organic paintings and constructions. Located in Palmer, the little 'town' you drive through just off the highway on your way up to road #191 that goes up to El Yunque.


men playing dominos in the plaza in front of the GUayama church

THE PLAZA IN JUANA DIAZ . MEN PLAYING DOMINOES. A COMMON FAVORITE.

A list of Museums.

OLD SAN JUAN:

Fort El Morro is at the top of the hill of Old San Juan. At the other end of Norzagaray Street is the San Cristobal Fort, walk between the two forts, along the road at the top. If you have a choice, see them on two different days.

• Castillo San Felipe del Morro. Built between 1539 and 1589, with later expansions, rises 140 feet above the sea, looking over the entrance to San Juan Harbour, the fort is a maze of tunnels, dungeons, barracks, and canon ramps. It consists of 74 acres of grounds and fort. Open 9 am to 6 pm. Adults $7 for pass for the two forts for 24 hours. (National Park pass can bring 4 people free). Children 15 and under free.

• Castillo San Cristobal was built in the 1700's, one of the largest defense systems ever built in the Americas. Guided tours are available Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays at 10, 11 am and 2 and 3 pm. You can wander around the mazes and tunnels on your own, 9 am to 6 pm. t. 787.729-6754.

Near the El Morro fort are the following museums:


• BALLAJA Museo de Las Américas, ( photo at the top) Former military barracks for the Spanish and then the Americans..several different exhibits on the second floor, some changing, Cultures of North, Central and South America. Large building with courtyard. Closed Monday. Art films downstairs in the evenings in 'CINEMA BAR' . Hours: 9 to 12 and 1-4 weekdays & 11 to 5 weekends. t. 787.724-5052, 787.723-4481 Restaurants, Coffee. Seniors and children $4. Adults $6.


Walking down the cobble stoned Cristo Street:

• Casa Blanca Museum, built in 1521 by the family of Ponce de Leon, who lived in it for 250 years. It is now a historical museum with 2 sections, one of the Taino Indians and one of the history of the house. . t. 787.725-1454, 787.724-4102

• Museum of Felicia Rincón de Gautier. Former home of first woman Mayor of San Juan. Photographs, elaborate wigs, fans, keys to cities. 51 Caleta Street. Open Fridays 9-4 and Saturdays 10-3 only. t. 787.723-1897

• Casa del Libro. Museum and Library with rare books and manuscripts, including two royal mandates ( signed by Ferdinan and Isabela) concerning the provisioning of Columbus's second voyage, in which Puerto Rico was discovered. Cristo Street. 11 am to 4:30 pm closed Sunday and Monday. t. 723-0354

• La Fortaleza ( the governors mansion) is open to the public on a limited basis, You can tour the grounds.

 

Above painting by primitive artist Cajiga: 'Woman washing clothes in stream'

• Casa de la Familia Puertoriqueña t. 787.977-2700

• Casa Ramón Power y Giralt. Restored home in which the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust has a small exhibit about critical environmental concerns. 10 am- 4 pm, closed Sunday and Monday. t. 787.722-5834

• Casa de los Contrafuertes. Changing exhibits of Latin American Prints. closed Monday and Tuesday. 9 am to 4:30 pm t. 787.724-5477
• Casa de Los Zaguanes. ( two foyers) 8 am to 4 pm. closed Saturday and Sunday t. 724-5477

• Casa Rosada. built in 1812, Government tourist office with brochures, maps and a welcome cocktail. Open daily 8 am to 5 pm t. 787.724-1454 $2.

• La Casita ( little yellow building by the waterfront) Government tourism office, brochures, maps, free cocktail. Open late daily, hours vary. t. 787.722-1709

GREATER SAN JUAN:

• Museo de Arte y Historia de San Juan Contemporary Puerto Rican sculpture and clay, paintings and in impressive exhibit of hand carved 'Santos'. 150 Norazagaray Street. Closed Saturday and Sunday. 8 am to 4:30 pm. t. 787.724-1875

• Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, De Diego Ave. Santurce, Puerto Rico's' most treasured works of art, including Francisco Oller and Jose Campeche. theater, and sculpture gardens. Closed Monday. Open 10 am to 5 pm, later on Wednesday nights, t. 787.977-6277 $5.


• Museo de Arte Contemporáneo on Ponce de Leon ave. at stop 18. Santurce. New museum with very good exhibits by Puerto Rican and Latin American contemporary artists. t. 787.977-4030/31

• Museum of History, Anthropology and Art at the University of PR, main campus in Rio Piedras. History, archeology and fine arts. t. 787.764-3939

• The Botanical Gardens are somewhat near the University and have a sculpture garden, many paths and areas planted with exotic plants and flowers.

BEYOND INNER SAN JUAN:

• Luis Muñoz Marin Foundation ( Trujillo Alto) t. 787.755-7979
• Casa Museo Dr. José Celso Barbosa (Bayamon) t. 787.786-8115
• Casa Jesus T. Piñero ( Canovanas) t. 787.977-2700
• Caparra ruins historical Museum and Park (Guaynabo) t. 787.781-4795

AROUND THE ISLAND, NEAR SAN JUAN:

Caguas:
• Museo de Arte de Caguas t. 787.744-8833

Vega Baja:
• Casa Alonso Museum of Art, History & Culture t. 787.858-7113

Gurabo:
• Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanisticos de La Universidad del Turabo t. 787.743-7979

Barranquitas:
• Casa Luis Muñoz Rivera t. 787.857-0230

REALLY OUT ON THE ISLAND:

Alejandro Puerto Rican artesan hammock maker
Don Alejandro was a well known hammock maker in Las Piedras

Ponce:

• Museo de Arte de Ponce. t. 787.848-0505

• * Ponce History Museum is a lovely, restored, 'art nouveau' style home with lots of stained glass and a bathtub carved out of one piece of local marble. History exhibits are all in Spanish.


• Castillo Serrallés Museum t. 259-1770
• Music Museum t. 848-7016
• Museo de la Masacre t. 844-9722
• Casa Paoli Museum t. 840-4115

Utuado:
• Centro Ceremonial Indígena de Caguana t. 894-7300

Coamo:
• Coamo Museum t. 825-1150

Guayama:
• Casa Cautiño Museum t. 864-9083
• Guayama Fine Arts Museum ( varied exhibit).

San German:
• Porta Coeli Religious Art Museum t. 787.892-5845

The Danza a romantic Spanish form of music

Mayaguez:

• Dr. Juan A. Rivero Zoo Probably not open. t. 787.832-6330. Birds, monkeys, lions, tigers, giraffes, reptiles and amphibians. closes 3:30 pm and closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
• Tropical Agricultural Research Station t. 787.831-3435. weekdays to 4 pm

Vieques Island:

• Museo Fort Conde del Mirasol t. 787.741-1717 Art & artifacts exhibits, great views of Isabel II.
• Lighthouse Museum ( opening soon?)
• Historical and Conservation Trust . Nature oriented. Small fish tanks. 787.741-8850.


PUERTO RICO HISTORY AND CULTURE

Culture

THE PANORAMIC ROADS OF PUERTO RICO
TRAVEL GUIDE TO PUERTO RICO