One of the most noticeable landmarks near the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco owes its name to Lieutenant, Juan Manuel de Ayala from the city of Seville. Ayala named Alcatraz, the Island of the Pelicans, because he noticed the rocky islet surrounded by dozens of flying sea birds as he entered the San Francisco Bay in August 1775.
Today, you can reach the old prison on Alcatraz Island, by taking a ferry from Fisherman´s Wharf, Pier 41. The crossing takes only ten minutes and costs around $20. For an additional $16, you can get a headset with explanations in Spanish of the history of Alcatraz.
In the prison museum, visitors will find a Spanish flag, adorned with the banner of Castile, which leaves poor record of our sovereignty over Alcatraz. In 1821, Spain lost control of “New Spain” to Mexico, which included California. Twenty years later, Mexico would be forced to leave California in the hands of the burgeoning United States, after a humiliating military defeat.