Palacio de Santa Catalina~

The Palacio in Old San Juan is the oldest continuously occupied executive mansion in the New World. Construction started in 1533. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is currently occupied by the Governor of Puerto Rico and his family. (Please click to enlarge).


The Palacio is built on a prime ocean view spot in Old San Juan and is surrounded by La Forteleza or the old fort walls.


The stunning interiors are like stepping into old Spain.

The gardens are tropical with fruit, vegetables and flowers in abundance. Fountains and tile mosaics abound.

The views are simply spectacular.
Adjoining the residence, is El Hospital, la Cofradía de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, built in 1556 and currently run by catholic nursing nuns for elderly patients.

I wouldn’t want to be a poltician, but I would love to stay in this house! Saludos a usted!

123 thoughts on “Palacio de Santa Catalina~

      1. God save the world from such a riotous act, I know. I was forced to dig them out and replace with an “approved ground cover.” It’s one of the reason we moved to the boondocks, to get away from this kind of thinking~

  1. Cindy, I must say I most enjoy these virtual tours you extend to us. Otherwise, you know, I would never see these spectacular places.

    Oh, and not wanting to be a politician, speaks well of you.

  2. Cindy, did you take all these beautiful photographs? And 1533? My gosh, finally something older than me… That’s not long after the Western view of Columbus discovering America. 🙂

    1. I know….I was adding it up too. Old San Juan was founded in something like 1506! Pretty old for the new world. And true, it is a little bit older than me too………Thank God!

  3. questo palazzo è una vera meraviglia! i colori sono magnifici e la posizione sull’oceano ne accentua la bellezza, sai che anche le scale della mia casa sono costruite con la maiolica tra uno scalino e l’altro? i gradini però sono di cotto fiorentino, mi ha fatto piacere notarne la somiglianza
    This Palace is a true wonder! the colors are magnificent ocean and accentuates the beauty, you know that even the stairs of my house are built with majolica between one step and the other? the steps, however, are the Florentine cotto, I was pleased to note the similarity

    1. In case you can’t tell, I am a major fan of Spanish architecture….the tile work, the central courtyards, the mosaics, the fountains. I am in love with all of this. This house is amazing. Situated on a point, with panoramic views, surrounded by the forteleza, Your house must be beautiful, and yes! I too have a central courtyard, Spanish tile, fountain. I love this beautiful artistry. I would love to see photos of your tile work. It sounds exquisite! Grazie e auguri a voi!

  4. Oh to live in a blue mansion; how lovely. There is something rather satisfying about having a hospital for the elderly next door to the politician’s abode…a reminder that we are all mortal. Did you notice the one different tile on the stairs? It almost looks like one of the tiles from the seat outside.

    1. I had not noticed the tile! How perceptive you are. I bet they had no similar tile to replace it with. Now that I see it, it jumps out! And yes I love the hospital and the old world nursing nuns and the name of things house ie.,The House of Helping etc~

  5. What a beauty! My gowns would look amazing shot in there.
    You must want to stay in PR for a long time. It’s so appealing, and your shots are fabulous!

  6. Love the stair shot Cindy. Can you imagine living in such a place. You would definitely want and army of housekeepers and gardeners to keep the place up. But being governor, I imagine you have them. 🙂 –Curt

    1. Yes! There was a trampoline in the inner courtyard, so this is really home, with a family and children. I imagine growing up in Old San Juan would provide a child with endless opportunites for adventure and exploration!

  7. Nice palace. I got to see the palace from outside the gate one year during Christmas time one year when I was there for training that I had to take for an upgrade to an ETTS (e-tracking & training system).

  8. Liebe Cindy mir gefällt die Treppe mit den schönen blauen Fliesen das Fenster und die Stuckarbeit am Besten das sieht Atemberaubend aus einfach nur wunderschön ein tolles Wochenende wünsche ich dir und sei ganz lieb gegrüßt Klaus

    1. Men always want to go to forts, women to palaces! Don’t tell anyone but I really only watch Downton for the interiors and the clothes…..can’t get enough of either!

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