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Veracruz in Municipality of Veracruz, Mexico — The Gulf Coast
 

The “Curtain” of San Fernando

 
 
The “Curtain” of San Fernando Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, March 23, 2017
1. The “Curtain” of San Fernando Marker
Inscription.
Cortadura de San Fernando
Con motivo del bloqueo inglés a La Habana, en 1762, hubo una alerta general en la Nueva España por temor a una invasión. Los mejores ingenieros militares del reino trabajaron en distintas propuestas para mejorar las defensas costeras. Uno de los más destacados fue el brigadier Manuel de Santistevan, quien arribó a Veracruz al año siguiente con el cargo de Ingeniero Director de fortificaciones. En 1771, se aprobó su proyecto para levantar una cortadura o cortina paralela a “muro de las argollas” e, inmediatamente, se inició la construcción.

Esta estructura a la que se conoce como cortina de San Fernando fue concebida como segundo frente defensivo en caso de que el muro de las argollas fuera atacado. Contiene catorce bóvedas diseñadas para resistir los bombardeos. Doce de ellas medían dieciocho varas de largo (15.04 metros) por siete varas de ancho (5.85 metros). Las dos últimas tenían siete varas más de largo y el mismo ancho. En general, los muros medían un promedio de 1.16 metros de espesor, a excepción de una bóveda, con paredes de 2.54 metros, la cual se destinó como depósito de pólvora. Los trabajos arqueológicos han revelado que las bóvedas centrales alojaron una iglesia o capilla y curato. El resto poseía tapanco y funcionaban, indistintamente, como cuarteles
The “Curtain” of San Fernando Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, March 23, 2017
2. The “Curtain” of San Fernando Marker
The marker is towards the left. The "Curtain" is the series of vaulted rooms near the marker. The idea was that they would act as an additional internal defensive line in case the outer wall of the fort was breached.
y almacén de víveres. Las bóvedas estaban bien ventiladas, ya que contaban con puerta y ventanas que daban a la plaza y, al fondo, tenían aspilleras dirigidas al foso de la cortadura.

A finales del siglo XIX su estructura fue modificada por las instalaciones del Arsenal Nacional Tres.

English translation:
The “Curtain” of San Fernando
On the occasion of the English blockade of Havana in 1762, there was a general alert in New Spain for fear of an invasion. The best military engineers of the kingdom worked on different proposals to improve the coastal defenses. One of the most outstanding engineers was Brigadier Manuel de Santistevan, who arrived in Veracruz the following year with the position of Engineer and Director of Fortifications. In 1771 his project was approved to build a “cut” or “curtain” to run parallel to the "Wall of the Rings". Construction began immediately.

This structure known as the Curtain of San Fernando was conceived as a second defensive area in case the outer Wall of the Rings was attacked. It is made up of fourteen vaults designed to resist bombing. Twelve of them measured eighteen “varas” long (15.04 meters) by seven “varas” wide (5.85 meters). The last two were seven “varas” longer and the same width. In general, the walls have
A view through the connecting doors of the vaults of the "Curtain" image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, March 23, 2017
3. A view through the connecting doors of the vaults of the "Curtain"
an average thickness of 1.16 meters, except for one vault, with walls 2.54 meters thick, which was used as a gunpowder storage area. Archaeological works have revealed that the central vaults housed a church or chapel and priest’s quarters. The rest of the vaults had lofts and served as barracks and storage areas. The vaults were well ventilated, since they had doors and windows that looked out at the square and also loopholes towards the direction of a possible attack.

At the end of the 19th century the structure was modified by the construction of the Third National Arsenal.
 
Location. 19° 12.558′ N, 96° 7.901′ W. Marker is in Veracruz, Veracruz, in Municipality of Veracruz. Touch for map. This marker is located towards the middle southern portion of the Fort of San Juan de Ulúa. Marker is in this post office area: Veracruz 91700, Mexico.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Patio of the Curtain or Dry Moat (a few steps from this marker); The Last Stronghold of the Spanish in Mexico (within shouting distance of this marker); The Wall of the Rings (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bastion of San Pedro (within shouting distance of this marker); The Bastion of San Crispin (within shouting distance of this marker); The Governor's House (within shouting distance of this marker); General Miguel Barragán (within shouting distance of this marker); Benito Juárez in Prison in San Juan de Ulúa (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Veracruz.
 
Categories. Colonial EraForts, CastlesMan-Made Features
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 9, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 9, 2017, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 61 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 9, 2017, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.
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