“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Juan in San Juan Municipality, Puerto Rico — The Caribbean (The West Indies)

What About Water?

¿De Dónde Viene el Agua?

What About Water? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 21, 2012
1. What About Water? Marker
Inscription.  On a small island surrounded by the sea, where would hundreds of soldiers get water to drink? They had to collect rainwater.

Most of Castillo San Cristobal’s water was stored directly beneath your feet. The masonry cylinders in front of you enclose wells that gave access to five huge cisterns, each 57 feet long, 24 feet high, and 17 feet wide.

Combined, San Cristobal’s cisterns can hold about 870,000 gallons of water. Every floor and roof in the fortification was designed to catch rain and drain it to these water-holding tanks.

The Spaniards understood the importance of clean water. Animals were banned from the fortresses to avoid contamination, and lining the tanks with limestone helped keep water clean.

As you visit Castillo San Cristóbal, look for element of the water collection system. Drainage channels in the floor, Wells, drain holes, and even the slope of the floors helped move water downward for storage.

¿De dónde viene el agua?
En una isla pequeña rodeada por el mar, ¿de dónde cientos de soldados obtenían agua para tomar? Necesitaban almacenar el agua de lluvia.


What About Water? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 20, 2012
2. What About Water? Marker
del agua del Castillo San Cristóbal estaba almacenada directamente bajo sus pies. El cilindro de mampostería frente a usted encierra pozos que daban acceso a cinco enormes cisternas, cada una de 75 pies de largo, 25 de altura y 17 de ancho.

Combinadas, las cisternas de San Cristóbal pueden almacenar 870,000 galones de agua. Cada piso y techo de la fortificación fue diseñado para recoger agua y llevarla a las cisternas.

Pie de dibujo:
Mientras visita Castillo San Cristóbal, busque elementos del sistema de recolección de agua - drenajes en el piso, pozos y desagües. Aun la inclinación de pisos ayudaba a empujar el agua hacia los depósitos.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 18° 28.044′ N, 66° 6.672′ W. Marker is in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in San Juan Municipality. Marker is on Bulevar del Valle. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Juan PR 00901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Defense of San Juan (here, next to this marker); Firepower (here, next to this marker); Three Flags (here, next to this marker); The Heart of San Cristobal (here, next to this marker); National Historic Site (here, next to this marker); Noel Estrada
What About Water? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 21, 2012
3. What About Water? Marker
(approx. ¼ mile away); Casa Natal de Don Ramón Power y Giralt (approx. 0.4 miles away); Piña Colada Made Famous (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Juan.
Categories. Colonial EraForts, Castles

More. Search the internet for What About Water?.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 23, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 6, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 342 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 6, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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