Ponce Historical City
Ponce seems like a rather short name for the second largest city in Puerto Rico. But it has lots of nicknames that demonstrate just how lovely it is. Some call it Ciudad Señorial (Nobel City) due to the numerous neoclassical facades and buildings. Other names for Ponce include La Ciudad de los Leones (City of Lions) and La Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South). Some even call it La Ciudad de las Quenepas (City of the Genip fruit as there’s a National Genip Fruit Festival held in Ponce every year.)
But there’s no denying the Mediterranean vibe in the air, and this is especially true in the Historic District. Because of the neoclassical architecture, many feel that this is the most awesome sight in all of Puerto Rico.
Take a stroll around the Plaza Las Delicias, the main square of Ponce, and it’s like being transported to a place back in time. It’s fortunate that the people in charge here had the foresight to preserve many of the 19th century buildings which surround the expanse of the main square. There are numerous attractions, monuments, and historical markers all around. You can just sit and relax on one of the many benches here, and watch the people and just breathe in the atmosphere.
- Relax within sight of the beautiful fountain, while nearby stands a monument to Juan Morel Campos who composed the danza.
- You can ride calesas around the area, but there’s also a red and black Ponce trolley.
- You can visit the Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, which was built back in 1835. Most of the time it is open to the public.
- The trolley also takes you to the Museo de Arte de Ponce, which was designed by the same guy (Edward Durell Stone) who was the architect for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Here lie numerous examples of Western art ranging from the Renaissance period up to the 19th Most of the paintings are from the Baroque and Victorian periods.
- There’s also the Parque de Bombas, which was the fire department built in 1882 and is now a museum. But it was an active fire department up to 1990
- Another interesting museum is the Museum of the History of Ponce, which can be found in the architectural marvel known as Casa Salazar.
- There are modern amenities too, although they still carry tinges of history. There’s a walking mall in what used to be Calle Atocha, and it opens right on the square. At the back there is the Fox Delicias, which was an Art Deco movie theater made with obvious Mediterranean influence. Now it’s a fast food joint with air-conditioning.
- There’s an intriguing shop known as El Coquí, which sells anything from the kitschy stuff to the artistic renditions of the saints that are alluring enough for any art museum. Take particular note of the awe-inspiring vegigante
Take a stroll in the Ponce Historic District, and the magic will remain in your memory for the rest of your life.
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