Fort San Felipe del Morro (Spanish: Castillo San Felipe del Morro) is a 16th-century (16th) citadel located in San Juan Puerto Rico.
Spanish Rule (1539–1898)
During the Spanish occupation of the island, El Morro survived several attacks from foreign powers on various occasions. In 1595, Sir Francis Drake from England attacked San Juan with his fleet. He failed, however, when Spanish gunners shot a cannonball through his cabin. In 1598, the British attacked again led by George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland. Clifford succeeded because he entered San Juan through land instead of entering through the San Juan Bay and El Morro. However, an epidemic ofdysentery forced him to flee the island.
The Dutch, led byBoudewijn Hendricksz, also attacked the island following George Clifford's idea of invading through land. The cannons of El Morro managed to make them retire, although the Dutch were able to sack and burn the city before leaving. El Morro's last active fight occurred during a naval bombardment by the United States Navy during the 1898Spanish-American War. Ending the age of naval warfare in the Caribbean, at least in the classical sense. However, the United States' first shots of World War I were fired from the fort's battery in 1915. The short war ended with the signing of Treaty of Paris. Spain ceded ownership of the islands of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States. El Morro and many other Spanish government buildings in Old San Juan then became part of a large U.S. Army post, called Fort Brooke. In the early 20th century, the U.S. military filled up the esplanade, or green space in front of "El Morro" with baseball diamonds, hospitals, officers' quarters, an officers' club and even a golf course.
American Military Occupation (1898–1961)
On March 21, 1915, Lt. Teofilo Marxuach was the officer of the day at El Morro Castle. The Odenwald, built in 1903 (not to be confused with the German World War II war ship which carried the same name), was an armed German supply ship which tried to force its way out of the bay and deliver supplies to the German submarines waiting in the Atlantic Ocean. Lt. Marxuach gave the order to open fire on the ship from the walls of the fort. The Odenwald was forced to return and its supplies were confiscated. The shots ordered by Lt. Marxuach have been considered as the first fired by the United States in World War I. The first actual wartime shot fired by the U.S. came on the day war was declared, during the Scuttling of SMS Cormoran off another small American island, Guam.
World War II the United States Army added a massive concrete bunker to the top of El Morro to serve as a Harbor Defense Fire Control Station to direct a network of coastal artillery sites, and to keep watch for German submarines which were ravaging shipping in the Caribbean. A lighthouse, rebuilt by the U.S. Army in 1906–08 is the tallest point on El Morro, standing 180 feet (55 m) above sea level. Flagpoles on El Morro today customarily fly the United States flag, the Puerto Rican flag and the Cross of Burgundy Flag, also known in Spanish as las Aspas de Borgoña, a standard which was widely used by Spanish armies around the world from 1506–1785
National Park (1961–present)
In 1961, the United States Army officially retired from El Morro. The fort became a part of the National Park Service to be preserved as museums. In 1983, the Fort was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. In honor of the Quincentennial of the voyages of Columbus in 1992 the exterior esplanade was cleared of palm trees that had been planted by the U.S. Army in the Fort Brooke era, and restored to the open appearance this "field-of-fire" for El Morro's cannon would have had in colonial Spanish times. Parking lots and paved roads were also removed, and the El Morro lighthouse repaired and restored to its original appearance. El Morro was used as a film set in the 1996 motion pictureAmistad. Steven Spielberg used it to represent a fort in Sierra Leonewhere African slaves were auctioned in 1839. The real history of Castillo de San Felipe del Morro in Puerto Rico has absolutely nothing to do with the slave trade. No such activity took place on or near El Morro. El Morro was strictly a defensive military fortification and a major component of San Juan's harbor defense system.
Fonte Texto : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_San_Felipe_del_Morro.
Fonte Imagem : Maurício do Carmo Souza
Saludos desde Puerto Rico