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Overlooking the city of Ponce (with Coffin Island and the Caribbean Sea in background) as seen from El Vigía hill.

Ponce is both a city and a municipality in southern part of Puerto Rico. The city is the seat of the municipal government.

The City of Ponce is the second largest city in Puerto Rico outside of the San Juan metropolitan area, and is named after Juan Ponce de León y Loayza, the great-grandson of Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Ponce is often referred to as La Perla del Sur (The Pearl of the South), La Ciudad Señorial (The Noble City), and La Ciudad de las Quenepas (Genip City). The city of Ponce 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 Commonwealth and federal government agencies. The city is also the seat of a Catholic Diocesis.

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 a total of 19 barrios (wards), plus the urban area of the city (12 additional barrios) including the historic Ponce Pueblo (the downtown area of the city), which is located approximately three miles inland from the shores of the Caribbean. Ponce is a principal city of both the Ponce Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Ponce-Yauco-Coamo Combined Statistical Area. The municipality of Ponce is the second largest in Puerto Rico by land area after the municipality of Arecibo. Ponce was the first municipality of Puerto Rico to obtain its autonomy on 27 october 1992 under a new law (The Autonomous Municipalities Act of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) enacted by the Puerto Rican legislature.

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Additional Photos by JC Ramos (jramos) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 47 W: 26 N: 141] (507)
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