San German Tourist Attractions
Founded in 1512, the town of San Germán is the second oldest settlement outside of San Juan in Puerto Rico. The town's area is 53sq.mi/140sq.km and the population is 34,962. The surrounding areas produce coffee, fruits, sugar and tobacco. Unlike other West Coast regions that are primarily beach towns, San Germán offers a historic district including cathedrals, plazas, and colonial homes. San Germán is also home to a university campus and much of the restaurants and nightlife are catered to students, college-age travellers and the young at heart. Consequently the town has a very lively atmosphere.
The Catedral de San Germán de Auxerre (San Germán Cathedral), built in 1739, is named for the town's patron saint and sits on the Plaza San Francisco Quiñones. The Cathedral is a mix of architectural styles with various restorations and changes over the centuries. Today visitors will see elements of baroque, colonial, and neoclassical. The interior is impressive if you happen to be by when the cathedral is open, however be sure you are dressed appropriately. The Catedral de San Germán de Auxerre is registered with the National Trust of Historic Sites.
Church of Porta Coéli
Constructed in the Gothic architectural style, The Porta Coéli Church (Gate of Heaven) in San Germán was built in the early 17th Century. Features of the church are a palm wood ceiling, pillars, and roof beams. While the Porta Coéli Church is no longer active, it has the distinction of being the second church founded in Puerto Rico. It was originally the chapel associated with the Dominican Monastery. Today the Porta Coéli church is a small religious museum containing carvings of Christ, paintings, and statues of the black Virgin of Montserrat.
Museum of Art and House of Study
The Museo de Arte y Casa de Estudio (Museum of Art and Study) is housed in residence built in 1903. Different subjects are featured in different rooms, including graphic arts, religious artifacts and Taíno Indian artifacts. The collection of religious oil paintings is of some interest.There are not many turn of the century houses in San Germán that are open to the public so a stroll through the Museo de Arte y Casa de Estudio may be worthwhile just for the architecture, even if you are not interested in the art.
Casa Morales, built at the end of the 19th Century, displays the arrival of Victorian taste in Puerto Rico. A private residence, this house in San Germán can be viewed only from outdoors. It's worth having a look at if you are doing a walking tour in this area of San Germán. Casa Morales stands on the east end of Plaza Danto Domingo near Iglesia de Porta Coeli.
Casa Acosta y Flores
Although it is a private residence,Casa Acosta y Flores built in 1917 is a great example of the Puerto Rican art-nouveau era.