City on the Atlantic Ocean.
The historical heart of the city, referred to as Old San Juan, lies on a small island connected to the mainland by bridges and a causeway.
Old San Juan is characterized by narrow, crooked streets and a number of buildings dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. The settlement of Old San Juan (1521) was originally known as Puerto Rico (rich port). The community was subjected to frequent attacks. Several imposing fortifications were built.
The large-scale expansion of the city limits outward from Old San Juan to the mainland has occurred during the 20th century. Population (1980) 424,600; (1990) 426,832.
On the mainland just east of Old San Juan is Condado Beach. Here high-rise luxury hotels and condominiums prevail. Further east also near the beachfront is the Louis Munoz Marin airport.
To the south are two separate business districts with tall office buildings.
Further south is the residential area of Río Piedras. Here you can find the the University of Puerto Rico (1903).
The city of San Juan remained under Spanish control until 1898, when the island was ceded to the United States at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War.
Since World War II, San Juan's economy has grown rapidly. Major manufactures include chemicals, pharmaceuticals, rum and other beverages, fertilizer, machine tools, electronic equipment, plastic goods, textiles, clothing, and food products.
San Juan has excellent transportation facilities. Highways connects the city to the rest of the island, and a busy airport nearby Isla Verde and San Juan's modern port facilities provide connections to international points.
Major cities near San Juan:
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