Top Star Attractions In Puerto Rico – San Jose Church

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Churches were some of the first structures built by the Spaniards upon crossing over to the New World.

In Puerto Rico every town has a square or plaza with a church to one side. Old San Juan, the second Island capital founded by Don Juan Ponce de León, the first governor, is no exception.

In fact, Old San Juan has several churches and chapels throughout its cobbled-stoned streets. San José Church sits atop the northernmost plaza in the old city and is the second oldest standing church in the American continent. The St. John the Baptist Cathedral on Cristo Street was erected first, but the current building actually dates to the 1800’s, making San José the oldest standing church on the Island.

Although this church was originally dedicated to St. Thomas Aquinas, since it was controlled by the Dominican Order, the Jesuits took it over in the mid 1600’s and renamed it in honor of St. Joseph.

It is a marvel of Spanish Gothic architecture. It is flanked by the original Dominican Convent, which now houses the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.

Top Star Attractions In Puerto Rico   San Jose Church

Across from the church on the other side of the eponymous plaza, a series of popular watering holes open their doors every day to a vibrant nightlife unlike anywhere else on the Caribbean.

Top Star Attractions In Puerto Rico   San Jose Church

A statue of Ponce de León stands in front of the church and, across Cristo Street, the recently erected Quincentennial Plaza occupies half a block and provides much desired shade to adventurous sightseers.

How to Get There

From the Luis Muñoz Marín Intl Airport, take Road 26 all the way to Old San Juan, then turn right on Nozagaray St., then right on Morovis St.