Open main menu

Page:EB1911 - Volume 24.djvu/165

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
151
SAN JUAN—SANKT JOHANN

and the rainfall uncertain and very light. Cereals are grown in some localities, and there are large vineyards where irrigation is possible, from which excellent wine is made. The province contains gold, silver, copper, iron, lead, coal and salt, but mining has never been developed to any extent. Pastoral interests are largely in feeding cattle for the Chilean markets, for which large areas of alfalfa are grown in the irrigated valleys of the Andes. The Argentine Great Western railway connects Mendoza with the capital of the province, and with the principal cities of the republic.

The capital of the province is San Juan, once called San Juan de la Frontera (pop. 1904, estimate, 11,500), in a great bend of the San Juan river, 95 m. N. of Mendoza and 730 m. from Buenos Aires by rail. The great bend of the river affords easy irrigation, and the surrounding country is covered by a network of irrigating canals, even the paved streets of the town having streams of cool water running through them. The public buildings include a cathedral, three churches, and several schools, including the “Escuela Sarmiento,” a fine edifice with a Greek façade, named after President Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (1811-1886), who was a native of this city. There is also a botanical garden.

San Juan was founded in 1561 by Juan Yufré, a companion of Captain Castillo, the founder of Mendoza. Both came from Chile, to which these outlying colonies were at first subject. From 1776 to 1820 it was governed from Mendoza, and then a popular uprising made the province independent and the town its capital. It has suffered severely from political disorders, and in 1894 was nearly destroyed by an earthquake. The original settlement, now called Pueblo Viejo, 4 m. N., was abandoned on account of frequent inundations. The present town is situated about 2165 ft. above sea-level and is defended from inundations by an embankment above the town, called the Murallon. San Juan exports wine, and has a profitable trade with Chile over the Patos and Uspallata passes.

SAN JUAN (San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico), the capital and largest city of Porto Rico, on a small and narrow island which lies near the north coast, about 35 m. from the east end of Porto Rico, and is united to the mainland by the bridge of San Antonio. Pop. (1899) 32,048, including 5236 negroes and 11,529 of mixed races; (1910) 48,716. San Juan is served by the American railroad of Porto Rico and by steamboats from New York and other ports. The harbour lies between the city and the mainland. It is capacious and landlocked, except on the north. A portion of it is 30 ft. in depth, and in 1907 Congress passed an Act for enlarging this area by dredging and especially for widening the entrance for large vessels; the work was virtually completed in 1909. San Juan is noteworthy for its fortifications and public buildings, and is the only fortified city of Porto Rico.

On a bluff about 100 ft. high at the west end of the island and commanding the entrance to the harbour rise the battlements of Morro Castle, which was completed about 1584 and in which there is a lighthouse. The Castle of San Cristobal (begun early in the 17th century, completed in 1771) extends across the island in the rear portion of the city. A wall on each side of the island connects the two castles. The Cañuelo is an abandoned fort on an islet opposite the Morro and less than 1000 yds. from it, the main channel lying between the two; and Forts San Antonio and San Geronimo protect the bridge of San Antonio. Inland rises a range of lofty mountains. Within the walls (which are 30-100 ft. high) the streets are narrow, smoothly paved with glaze brick and well cleaned. Princessa, Covadonga and Puerta de Tierra are lined with shady trees and occasionally widen into refreshing plazas. Between streets the space is packed closely with massive, flat-roofed brick and stone buildings, the walls of which, like the fortifications, are covered with plaster of various colours—green, blue, white, brown, pink, yellow and vermilion; red tile roofs add to the effect. Near Morro Castle is the Casa Blanca, a palace on land which belonged to the family of Ponce de Leon. The tomb of Ponce de Leon is in the Cathedral, and in the Plaza de San José is a bronze statue (said to have been cast from cannon taken from the English in 1797) to his memory. In the Plaza Colon is a marble and granite monument to Columbus. In the church of San Francisco are some good paintings by José Campeche (1752-1809), a local artist. Other churches are the severely beautiful Santo Domingo, the Santa Ana, the Cathedral, with a rich shrine of Nuestra Señora de la Providencia, and the church of San José, which was formerly the Dominican convent. Among the prominent buildings and institutions are the customhouse, the executive mansion (formerly the palace of the governor-general) situated near the Casa Blanca, the archiepiscopal palace a Seminary College, the City Hall, the Intendencia, the Post Office, the large barracks (Cuartel de Ballajá), the Penitentiary, the Military Hospital, the Presbyterian Hospital, two municipal hospitals (one surgical, one medical), a municipal bath-house and a small public library (the “Cervantes”). At Rio Piedras, not far from San Juan, is the Normal School and Agricultural School of Porto Rico. Other suburbs are Marina, with wharves and piers, Puerta de Tierra and on the mainland, Santurce, with a country club, the Union Club, a beautiful market-place, two charity schools and some attractive villas. Industries are of little importance. The sanitation of the city has been installed since the American occupation; sewers have been laid and a water-supply is piped from Rio Piedras.

From Caparra, established in 1508 by Juan Ponce de Leon and now known as Pueblo Viejo, the Spanish settlement removed in 1520 to San Juan or San Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico, nearer the coast. The new settlement became the capital of the eastern district of the island, to the whole of which the latter part of the name came to be applied. It was sacked by Sir Francis Drake in 1595, and captured by Admiral George Clifford, earl of Cumberland (1558-1605), in 1597, but was abandoned by the conquerors on account of an epidemic. It was unsuccessfully attacked by the English under Sir Ralph Abercromby in April 1797; and it was bombarded by an American fleet under Rear-Admiral William T. Sampson on the 12th of May 1898 during the Spanish-American war, and was blockaded by the auxiliary cruiser “St Paul,” which on the 22nd of June drove back into the harbour the Spanish destroyer “Terror” and the gunboat “Isabella II.”; but the city was not occupied by the Americans until after the suspension of hostilities.

SAN JUAN (or Haro) ISLANDS, an archipelago (San Juan, Orcas, Shaw, Lopez, Blakely, Cypress, &c.) lying between Vancouver Island and the mainland of North America. These islands were for many years the subject of dispute between the British and the United States governments, and were finally assigned to the latter country by the arbitration of the emperor of Germany (on the 21st of October 1872). Geographically the cluster certainly belongs to the mainland, from which it is separated by Rosario Strait, generally much under 50 fathoms in depth, while Haro Strait, separating it from Vancouver Island, has depths ranging from 100 to 190 fathoms. In 1873 the islands, formerly considered part of Whatcom county, Washington, were made the separate county of San Juan. Of the total area of 200 sq. m., about 60 are in San Juan, 60 in Orcas and 30 in Lopez.

See Papers relating to the Treaty of Washington, vol. v. (Washington, 1872), and the map in Petermann's Mitteilungen (1873).

SANKARA ACHARYA (c. 789-820), Hindu theologian, was born about the year 789, probably at the village of Kaladi in Malabar. He belonged to the Nambudri class of Brahmins. He wandered far and wide, and engaged in much philosophical and theological debate. He taught the existence of the Supreme God and founded the sect of the Smarta Brahmins. His great achievement was the perfecting of the Mimansa or Vedanta philosophy. So great were his learning and piety that he was regarded as an incarnation of Siva, and his works (commentaries on the Vedanta Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads) exercised a permanent influence on Hindu thought. He died at Kedarnata in the Himalayas when only 32 years of age.

See Sri Sankaracharya, by C. N. Krishnasurami Aiyar and Pandit Sitanath Tattvabhushan (Madras, 1902).

SANKT JOHANN, a town of Germany, in the Prussian Rhine province, on the right bank of the Saar, opposite Saarbrücken with which it is connected by three bridges. It is 49 m. N.E. from Metz and at the junction of lines from Trier, Bingerbrück and Zweibrücken. Pop. (1905) 24,140. Sankt Johann is the seat of extensive industries, the chief being the manufacture of railway plant and machinery, iron-founding, wire-drawing and brewing; its rapid industrial development is due mainly to the extensive railway system of which it is the centre.

Sankt Johann obtains its name from a chapel erected here. From 1321 to 1859 it formed a single town with Saarbrücken,