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A Walking Tour of Old San Juan

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Fourth Stop: La Casa Blanca
A Walking Tour of Old San Juan

The Kitchen at La Casa Blanca

Photo © Zain Deane
Directions
From the Cuartel de Ballajá, cross the Plaza de Beneficiencia (there is a beautiful sculpture here of Eugenio de María de Hostos, a noted educator born in Puerto Rico) to San Sebastián Street. Take a right and follow the street to the end, where you will find La Casa Blanca.

Highlights

  • La Casa Blanca means "The White House," and in a way, it is; this was the home built by the Ponce de León family in 1521. It is one of the oldest remaining monuments in San Juan.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Juan Ponce de León never lived here, but his family occuppied the house for 250 years.
  • La Casa Blanca also served as the first military structure on the island; built of stone, it was used as a fort during Puerto Rico's infancy.
  • Today, it is a museum that chronicles the life of modern Puerto Rico's founding family.
  • A guided tour takes visitors through the main rooms of the house, where original and recreated period furniture help to capture the spirit of life on the island during the 16th Century.

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