Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro

CA5
Top Pick
Museum / Cultural center
Architectural style: Neo-classical
CA Ranking: 5
Open: 10am-7pm daily; Lighthouse: 9am-8pm daily
Admission: CUC 4
North-eastern side of the harbor.
  • Designed by Italian engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli and built by slaves with rocks extracted from the moats in the last decades of the 16th century, the Morro Castle to defend the town of San Cristobal de la Habana. However, due to economic problems and contradictions among Cuba’s governors and Antonelli, construction works took 30 years and were not completed until the 17th century. The floor is a polygon adapted to the elevated rock it was built on. It has two bastions, Tejada and Austria, and a semibastion on the elevation, facing the sea. Another interesting feature are the holes in the back walls through which prisoners were fed to the sharks. This fortress was the main defensive construction in the Havana harbor until La Cabaña was completed 1774.

    The Morro Castle first saw action in 1762 with the British invasion of Havana. The invading forces, consisting of 44,000 British soldiers, attacked the structure from its landward side and were able to take the fortress by successfully mining one of its ramparts. A plaque and a small memorial commemorate the 44-day siege.

    Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro is one the symbols of Havana and one of the most visited places by both tourist and locals. It has been photographed and painted by many and has also appeared in several movies. Inside are several exhibitions, but the construction itself is worth a visit.

    Along with a deep moat and two batteries, additional defence was originally provided by an ocean-side tower, replaced in 1844 by a lighthouse called the Faro del Morro. Now a symbol of Havana, it offers one of the finest views of the city, especially at sunset. The history of the lighthouse and castle is explored in the Sala de Historia, while the Sala de Cristóbal Colón charts the history of Columbus’s journey to the Americas. Another interesting historical feature of the castillo is the prisons, which have holes in the back walls through which prisoners were fed to the sharks.

    
  • Jardín Botánico Nacional

    Jardín Botánico Nacional  LH 5+

    These 600-hectare botanical gardens feature approximately 150,000 examples of 4,000 different species of trees and bushes from all over the world. A tractor train ride around the park departs four tim …

    Almacenes de San José

    Almacenes de San José  LH 5

    This former harborside warehouse was built in 1885 and is considered the oldest depository in Old Havana. The sober and imposing façade that looks out onto the city conceals the building’s steel struc …

    Santa María del Mar

    Santa María del Mar  LH 5

    Santa María is the most popular beach among both Habaneros and visitors. It has lodgings, restaurants, watersports hire, grocery stores and a pharmacy. As with the other beahes, it boasts soft, white …

    Cámara Oscura

    Cámara Oscura  LH 5

    Located on the top floor of the eclectic-style early 20th-century Edificio Gómez Vila—the plaza’s tallest building (35 meters/115 feet)—on the northeast corner, the Cámara Oscura provides a 360-degree …

    Arte Corte (Papito’s)

    Arte Corte (Papito’s)  LH 5+

    Established about eight years ago, Arte Corte is a hairdressing salon that is also an “interactive museum” where the customer, while comfortably seated in a hundred year-old chair awaiting their turn, …

    Jardines de la Tropical

    Jardines de la Tropical  LH 5

    If you attend any of the concerts that are held here in an effort to save this place from the state of semi-neglect it has been plunged into for many years, it would be a good time to appreciate the m …

    La Zorra y el Cuervo

    La Zorra y el Cuervo  LH 5

    Probably the most well known venue for jazz in Havana, the ‘Fox & Crow’ offers an intimate environment in this basement venue notably marked by a red English telephone box at its entrance. Top jaz …

    Ivan Chef Justo

    Ivan Chef Justo  LH 5

    There is only one problem with Ivan Chef Justo and that is describing to people how to get there. Actually it is not that complicated, opposite the Museum of the Revolution on the Old Havana side. Con …

    Casa-Estudio de José Fuster

    Casa-Estudio de José Fuster  LH 5+

    José Antonio Rodríguez Fuster is a ceramist, draftsman, painter and printmaker. He has made illustrations for several publications, participated in a number of international symposiums and events, and …

    Basílica Menor y Convento de San Francisco de Asís

    Basílica Menor y Convento de San Francisco de Asís  LH 5+

    History & Architecture Initiated in its present form in 1716, this religious edifice was the most important symbol of the presence of the Franciscan order in Havana. It is a remake of an original, …

    « 3 of 22 pages »