Town Square’s of Puerto Rico: Fajardo

Discover a slice of Puerto Rican culture by visiting one of the many town squares around the island

Town Squares of Puerto Rico

Visiting the town square or plaza will allow you to experience a slice of lively culture in Puerto Rico. In 1513 King Ferdinand decreed that all cities would have a central square or plaza. Each plaza will have a church and a series of streets in which the rest of the town will branch out from. Spanish law in the 19th century stated that plazas were for the parties; It should be large enough for the community to gather and celebrate. 

All plazas have a church, most of them Catholic since Catholicism was the official religion of Puerto Rico until 1898. Historically the plazas were where the main businesses took place, with town markets and administrative buildings. Since towns were built around the central plaza this will also be where you will find most of the historically relevant architectural buildings. 

Today you will find the plazas to be a shady respite from the tropical sun. Many plazas have fountains and you’ll often find locals playing dominoes beneath the trees. Most town squares have restaurants, coffee shops, pharmacies, and clothing shops nearby. Many offer a variety of colorful architecture to admire. They are a gathering spot during special events such as elections, concerts and holidays. It is a place for people to connect with each other. All plazas are decorated during the holidays with lights, holiday decor and often have live music playing in the evenings or weekends. 

The Fajardo town square or Plaza Pública de Fajardo, is surrounded by colorful, colonial style buildings. The plaza has a dolphin fountain as well as a sculpture of its founding member. Off to one side a small farmers market is open daily. The large powder blue City Hall building is reminiscent of a wedding cake. 

The Catedral Santiago Apostol’s parish was established in 1766, the original building was destroyed by an earthquake in 1867. The current structure is formed with the side walls and floor tiles from the original structure. It is registered to the US National Register of Historic Places. 

The large “Fajardo” sign is a picture spot for visitors and locals alike. During the holidays or other special occasions the colors of the sign are painted and decorated with lights. The plaza is taken over with holiday decor from Thanksgiving until January. It is well lit at night during the holidays so revelers can enjoy taking in the scenery and spending time with family and friends. 

There are numerous restaurants and bars nearby that you shouldn’t miss. Rústica is one of the top places for pizza on the east side, a fan favorite. Brunchy’s is a small brunch spot off the busy main street. 

If you wander the nearby main streets you’ll find 8 beautiful murals done in the area. A gathering of artists formed Cromápolis, an urban art cooperative. They developed a community project with the goal of spreading happiness and community connection. The murals were designed to bring color and life to the somewhat run down area. You won’t want to miss the 50 foot tall Zandunga Queen. Take a walk and see the color for yourself! The plaza is not the most lively spot for tourism, but it will give you a peek into local life and the friendliness of people in the area. 

Fajardo is the first highlight of our “Town Square” series, so keep an eye out for more!

In this series

No items found.
No items found.
Slider Arrow Left
Slider Arrow Right
No items found.