Cuartel de Ballajá & Museo de las Américas

Cuartel de Ballajá & Museo de las Américas information

San Juan & Around , Puerto Rico
off Norzagaray
Opening hours
9am-noon & 1-4pm Tue-Sat, noon-5pm Sun
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Built in 1854 as a military barracks, the cuartel is a three-story edifice with large gates on two ends, ample balconies, a series of arches and a protected central courtyard that served as a plaza and covers a reservoir. It was the last and largest building constructed by the Spaniards in the New World. Facilities included officers’ quarters, warehouses, kitchens, dining rooms, prison cells and stables. The small ground-floor cafe is a good place to pause and soak up the monumental courtyard's atmosphere.

The 2nd floor features the Museo de las Américas , which gives an overview of cultural development in the New World. It features changing exhibitions, and Caribbean and European American art, most notably an impressive santos (small carved figurines representing saints) collection. The excellent shop is a good place to buy cultural books.