Parque de Bombas

Notable Building in Ponce
Image by Danita Delimont / Getty Images

Ponceños (people from Ponce) claim that the eye-popping Parque de Bombas is Puerto Rico’s most frequently photographed building, which is not too hard to believe as you stroll around the black-and-red-striped, Arabian-style edifice and make countless unwitting cameos in family photo albums.

Originally constructed in 1882 as an agricultural exhibition hall, the space later housed the city’s volunteer firefighters, who are commemorated in a small, tidy exhibit on the open 2nd floor. The many-colored lions are a reference to the man who gave the city its name: Juan Ponce de León y Loayza (leon in Spanish means 'lion').