Ponce, Puerto Rico

Ponce (US: /ˈpɔːns, ˈpn-/, UK: /ˈpɒns/, Spanish: [ˈponθe] (listen), locally [ˈponse]) is both[23] a city and a municipality on the southern coast of Puerto Rico. The city is the seat of the municipal government.

Ponce
Municipio Autónomo de Ponce
City and Municipality
Autonomous Municipality of Ponce
Partial view of the city of Ponce in 2006, as seen from Cerro del Vigía, with the Caribbean Sea and Caja de Muertos in the background
Nicknames: 
"La Perla del Sur",
"Ciudad Señorial",
"Ciudad de los Leones",
"Ciudad de las Quenepas"
Motto(s): 
Ponce es Ponce[1][2]
Anthem: "La Perla del Sur"[3][4]
Map of Puerto Rico highlighting Ponce Municipality
Coordinates: [5]
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
Settled1500BC (Non-Europeans)[6][7][8]
Re-settled1582 (Europeans)[9][10][11]
Sitio1646 (Dispersed settlement)[12][13]
Partido1670 (Hamlet)[14][15][lower-alpha 1]
Founded12 August 1692 (Village)[16][17][18][19]
  Villa29 July 1848
  Ciudad13 August 1877[20]
Named forJuan Ponce de Leon y Loayza
Barrios
Government
  TypeMayor–council
  MayorLuis Irizarry Pabón (PPD)
  CouncilAsamblea Municipal de Ponce
Area
  Total193.6 sq mi (501 km2)
  Land114.8 sq mi (297 km2)
  Water78.8 sq mi (204 km2)
Elevation52 ft (16 m)
Population
  Total137,491
  Density710/sq mi (270/km2)
Demonym(s)Ponceños
Time zoneUTC−4 (AST)
ZIP Codes
00715, 00716, 00717, 00728, 00730, 00731, 00732, 00733, 00734, 00780
Area code(s)787/939
Major routes

GNIS feature ID1611718[21]
  = Date of the Villa and Ciudad charters

Ponce, Puerto Rico's most populated city outside the San Juan metropolitan area, was founded on 12 August 1692[note 1][24][19][25][16] and is named for Juan Ponce de León y Loayza,[26] the great-grandson of Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León.[note 2] Ponce is often referred to as La Perla del Sur (The Pearl of the South), La Ciudad Señorial[lower-alpha 2] (The Manorial City[lower-alpha 3]), and La Ciudad de las Quenepas (Genip City). The city serves as the governmental seat of the autonomous municipality as well as the regional hub for various Government of Puerto Rico entities, such as the Judiciary of Puerto Rico. It is also the regional center for various other Government of Puerto Rico and US Federal Government agencies. Ponce is a principal city of both the Ponce Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Ponce-Yauco-Coamo Combined Statistical Area.

The Municipality of Ponce, officially the Autonomous Municipality of Ponce, is located in the southern coastal plain region of the island, south of Adjuntas, Utuado, and Jayuya; east of Peñuelas; west of Juana Díaz; and bordered on the south by the Caribbean Sea. The municipality has 31 barrios, including 19 outside the city's urban area and 12 in the urban area of the city. The historic Ponce Pueblo district, located in the downtown area of the city, is shared by several of the downtown barrios, and is located approximately three miles (4.8 km) inland from the shores of the Caribbean. The municipality of Ponce is the second largest in Puerto Rico by land area, and it was the first in Puerto Rico to obtain its autonomy, becoming the Autonomous Municipality of Ponce in 1992.