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Fort San Felipe

Photos and description

On the shores of the Atlantic ocean, on a high hill, stands an old Spanish Fort San Felipe, built to protect the city of Puerto Plata from attacking pirates. Pirate ships could not come close to the fortress, as from the ocean she was protected by a nearby coral reefs. The Fort received its name in honor of king Philip II, who is considered its founder. This powerful construction was started in 1564 and completed in 13 years. The great merit in such a fast completion of construction belongs to the Manager of the local garrison don Rengifo de Angulo.

Fort San Felipe was not only to protect civilians from pirates. There was a time when it was turned into a prison. Here it was detained one of the founders of the state of the Dominican Republic Juan Pablo Duarte. In the mid-twentieth century, the authorities of Puerto Plata had a brilliant idea to transform the Fort into a Museum of military history. In 1965, this decision was announced publicly. Almost immediately began reconstruction of the Fort San Felipe, which was allowed in 1983 to open its doors to the public.

To visit the local fortress is for several reasons. First, it is the only building in the city of Puerto Plata, the survivors of the fire during the struggle for independence. So this is the only building of the XVI century in Puerto Plata. Secondly, there is a magnificent collection of weapons of the XVIII-XIX centuries. Thirdly, from the observation deck of the Fort offers excellent views of the harbour and city of Puerto Plata.