While the Naval Museum depicts many of Veracruz’s historical events, the San Juan de Ulúa fort is preserved as the place where lots of those events took place. Built over hundreds of years, to protect against pirates and every other kind of invasion, the fort is located on land that was originally an island across a mile of water from the mainland. Since about 1900, it is connected by landfill so it is on a peninsula now, and it is embedded in the massive modern port complex. But the history is there, evoked beautifully by our guide Elizabeth. Elizabeth brought out the drama of the story of Benito Juarez’s adventures in the fort. He was a refugee here once. Then during the struggles of the Reform Movement, he was held prisoner here. And later, when he was President of Mexico, he was in residence at the Presidential Palace (an Italian neo-classical structure in the center of the fort). That was a period when Veracruz served as Capital of the Republic.

Farewell to Ruby and John