Cuartel de Ballaja (The Ballaja Infantry Barracks Building) was constructed by the Spanish army between 1854 and 1864. The structure is one of the most impressive constructed by Spain in the New World and it stands as the last example of monumental military architecture by the Spanish Monarchy in the Americas. Used until 1898 as infantry barracks and permanent housing for approximately a thousand soldiers, it consisted of rooms for officers, solders and their families, storage, kitchens, dining rooms, jail cells and stables for horses. The ascending vaulted gothic ceilings above the main staircase are unique in Puerto Rico In 1976 the government of Puerto Rico acquired the Ballajá Infantry Barracks Building (Antiguo Cuartel de Ballajá) from the federal government of the United States of America by way of a transfer with a commitment to restore and use the building for cultural, educational and touristic purposes.
1986 the restoration of The Barracks began under the "Plan de Reforma Interior de la Zona Histórica de San Juan". The restoration work was realized from 1990 to 1993. Close to the cacher area you will find a view to the Fort San Felipe del Morro, better known as El Morro. A 16th-century citadel constructed to protect the town from attack by sea, El Morro is one of the highlights of any tour of the old city, a rocky web of tunnels and barracks, towers and prisons. Probably the most famous monument from Spanish colonial times, the fortress stands out on a rocky islet, forever a reminder of a different age.