Our guide tells us that San Juan is one of the most perfectly fortified cities in the world. It is easy to believe this when, from the ocean and from the bay, we see the massive walls and battlements of the forts that guard the north and east.
We learn that they are cut from the solid rock which crowns the crest of the narrow peninsula. The steep walls of the vast castle of San Cristobal overshadow the whole city.
The city is built on an island, connected with the mainland by a bridge.
It is surrounded by a high, thick stone wall: that is, it was once upon a time; but the city is now extended far beyond the walls. Inside is the city proper, or old San Juan. Outside are the more modern buildings and the suburbs.
San Juan is not only the seat of government, but it is considered the first city of Puerto Rico in interest and in importance. Ponce, however, disputes this claim.