Fuerte San Felipe
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The Fort of San Felipe (Puerto Plata, Av. Circunvalación, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, US$0.50), unlike the very visible ruins in the Ciudad Colonial of Santo Domingo, is sadly the only remaining structure from Puerto Plata’s colonial days. Built between 1564 and 1577 as a line of defense from invasion by sea, for much of its life its hulking walls and deep moat were put to use as a prison instead.
Today, it houses a slightly disappointing museum. The building itself is remarkable, but the contents within are rather uneventful. Cannonballs and bayonets make up a majority of the artifacts. The views of the Bahía de Puerto Plata and the Atlantic from on top where a couple of cannons still stand guard and the surrounding grounds are very nice and provide for some attractive photo-ops. Tours are given in English, French, German, and Spanish.
Also on-site is a lighthouse, which was built in 1879 and restored a few years ago. It originally employed a unique revolving light and shadow system of illumination, fueled by kerosene. El faro was a beacon to ships and a symbol of the then industrial progress of Puerto Plata. An octagonal cupola sits high upon the yellow I-beams but is no longer in service.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition