Las Cabezas de San Juan

Las Cabezas de San Juan

The Cabezas de San Juan lighthouse, the second-oldest on the island, is located on San Juan cape in Fajardo. The construction of the lighthouse, which began in 1877, had to be halted for budget reasons and was resumed in 1880, following a second set of plans. The work was completed in 1882.

The neo-classical style structure is rectangular and measures 30 x 15.5 x 6.6 meters (98 x 51 x 22 feet). The main façade has a portico entrance in the form of a triumphal arch and four arched windows. The structure is surrounded by an elaborate cornice with the inscription 1880, the year in which it was inaugurated. The cylindrical tower measures 13.35 meters (43.8 feet) in height to the top of the lantern and has a stairway of forged iron. The original lantern in this third-order lighthouse cast a light for a radius of 18 miles.

The structure was damaged during hurricane San Ciprián in 1932, and in the 1940s and 1950s alterations were made to the interior of the building. In 1975, an automatic illumination system was installed and it is still working today.

Today, the lighthouse is part of the Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve, which is under the administration of the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. In 1989, under the direction of this organization, a restoration of the lighthouse was begun and was completed in 1991. Since then, the lighthouse has been one of the attractions of the reserve.

Adapted by the PROE Editorial Group
Original source: Catalog of properties, National Register of Historic Sites, State Office of Historic Conservation, Office of the Governor, 1995.


The Lighthouse System of Puerto Rico, 1846-1979. Oficina Estatal de Conservación Histórica, Oficina del Gobernador 1995.

Sánchez Terry, Miguel Angel. Los faros españoles de ultramar, Madrid: Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte, Centro de Publicaciones, 1992.

Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: September 04, 2014.

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