Old San Juan (Spanish: Viejo San Juan) is a historic district located at the “northwest triangle” of the islet of San Juan. Old San Juan is the oldest settlement within Puerto Rico and the historic colonial section of the city of San Juan. This historic district is a National Historic Landmark District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Old San Juan Historic District. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and to the south by San Juan Bay (or “Bahia de San Juan”) which lies between the city and the mainland. On a cliff about 100 feet (30 m) high, at the west end of the island and commanding the entrance to the harbor, rise the battlements of Fort San Felipe del Morro, in which there is a lighthouse. The city is characterized by its narrow, blue cobblestone streets, and flat roofed brick and stone buildings which date back to the 16th and 17th century when Puerto Rico was a Spanish possession. Near Fort San Felipe del Morro, is the Casa Blanca, a palace built on land which belonged to the family of Ponce de León. (Plaza Eugenio María de Hostos) In 1508, Juan Ponce de León founded the original settlement, Caparra. In 1509, the settlement was abandoned and moved to a site which was called at the time “Puerto Rico” (meaning “rich port” or “good port”), a name that evoked that of a similar geographical harbor in the island of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. In 1521, the name “San Juan” was added, and the newer settlement was given its formal name of “San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico”, following the usual custom of christening the town with both its formal name and the name which Christopher Columbus had originally given the islands, honoring John the Baptist. Constructed in 1521, Casa Blanca served as the first fortification of the settlement and residence of Juan Ponce de León descendants, until the mid-eighteenth century. La Fortaleza was built between 1533 and 1540 which was followed by the construction of a battery at “the Morro.” Plans for the castle portion of San Felipe del Morro were made in 1584. Extensions to the Morro, plus construction of El Cañuelo, and El Boquerón, were made between 1599 and 1609. Circumvallation of the city commenced in 1630 and was concluded by 1641. By 1781, the city’s fortifications included 376 cannon. On May 28, 1897, the wall demolition was officially started after a proclamation was issued by Queen Maria Christina. By the year 1899, the population of Puerta de Tierra had risen to 5,453 while the area comprising the old walled city had a civilian population of roughly 18,103 inhabitants. Strict remodeling codes were implemented to prevent new constructions from affecting the common colonial Spanish architectural themes of the old city. The paradigm to reconstruct and renovate the old city and revitalize it has been followed by other cities in Latin America, particularly Havana, Lima and Cartagena de Indias. Old San Juan is a main spot for domestic and international tourism. From eating traditional Puerto Rican plates, such as mofongo at Raíces, to flying a kite at El Morro, Old San Juan is the perfect place to learn and absorb the rich culture of Puerto Rico.