The "Curtain" of San Fernando

The "Curtain" of San Fernando (HM1YUL)

Location: Veracruz, Veracruz 91891
Country: Mexico

N 19° 12.558', W 96° 7.901'

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Cortadura de San Fernando
Con motivo del bloqueo inglés a La Habana, en 1762, hubo una alerta general en la Nueva España por temor a una invasión. Los mejores ingenieros militares del reino trabajaron en distintas propuestas para mejorar las defensas costeras. Uno de los más destacados fue el brigadier Manuel de Santistevan, quien arribó a Veracruz al año siguiente con el cargo de Ingeniero Director de fortificaciones. En 1771, se aprobó su proyecto para levantar una cortadura o cortina paralela a "muro de las argollas" e, inmediatamente, se inició la construcción.Esta estructura a la que se conoce como cortina de San Fernando fue concebida como segundo
frente defensivo en caso de que el muro de las argollas fuera atacado. Contiene catorce bóvedas diseñadas para resistir los bombardeos. Doce de ellas medían dieciocho varas de largo (15.04 metros) por siete varas de ancho (5.85 metros). Las dos últimas tenían siete varas más de largo y el mismo ancho. En general, los muros medían un promedio de 1.16 metros de
espesor, a excepción de una bóveda, con paredes de 2.54 metros, la cual se destinó como depósito de pólvora. Los trabajos arqueológicos han revelado que las bóvedas centrales alojaron una iglesia o capilla y curato. El resto poseía tapanco y funcionaban, indistintamente, como cuarteles
y almacén de víveres. Las bóvedas estaban bien ventiladas, ya que contaban con puerta y ventanas que daban a la plaza y, al fondo, tenían aspilleras dirigidas al foso de la cortadura. A finales del siglo XIX su estructura fue modificada por las instalaciones del Arsenal Nacional Tres. English translation:
The "Curtain" of San Fernando
On the occasion of the English blockade of Havana in 1762, there was a general alert in New Spain for fear of an invasion. The best military engineers of the kingdom worked on different proposals to improve the coastal defenses. One of the most outstanding engineers was Brigadier Manuel de Santistevan, who arrived in Veracruz the following year with the position of Engineer and Director of Fortifications. In 1771 his project was approved to build a "cut" or "curtain" to run parallel to the "Wall of the Rings". Construction began immediately. This structure known as the Curtain of San Fernando was conceived as a second defensive area in case the outer Wall of the Rings was attacked. It is made up of fourteen vaults designed to resist bombing. Twelve of them measured eighteen "varas" long (15.04 meters) by seven "varas" wide (5.85 meters). The last two were seven "varas" longer and the same width. In general, the walls have
an average thickness of 1.16 meters, except for one vault, with walls 2.54 meters thick, which was used as a gunpowder storage area. Archaeological works have revealed that the central vaults housed a church or chapel and priest's quarters. The rest of the vaults had lofts and served as barracks and storage areas. The vaults were well ventilated, since they had doors and windows that looked out at the square and also loopholes towards the direction of a possible attack. At the end of the 19th century the structure was modified by the construction of the Third National Arsenal.
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HM NumberHM1YUL
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Date Added Friday, June 9th, 2017 at 9:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14Q E 801609 N 2126471
Decimal Degrees19.20930000, -96.13168333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 19° 12.558', W 96° 7.901'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds19° 12' 33.48" N, 96° 7' 54.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Pedro Saenz de Baranda, Veracruz Veracruz 91891, MX
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