The Morro Castle, or "El Morro" as it is most commonly known, is the first fort you'll come to after crossing under the harbor channel tunnel. Sitting on the point overlooking Havana's narrow harbor channel, it was built between 1589 and 1630 and served as an important line of defense against pirate attacks and naval invasions. In addition to its ramparts, barracks, and banks of cannons, El Morro has a series of exhibition rooms and minimuseums. You can walk the fort's ancient streets and even climb the still-functioning, 19th-century lighthouse here. El Morro affords excellent views of Havana and the curve of the Malecón, and there are several restaurants and bars here.
There are two main fortresses in the Parque El Morro-Cabana, across the harbour from downtown Havana. You can take a bus but should be able to negotiate a taxi for $4-5.
We were able to walk around and take pictures of El Morro fortress without paying and then walked the 5 minutes over to the Cabana fortress which cost $5 CUC to get in. The complex is quite sprawling with a few restaurants and refreshment stands. Be sure to enjoy the various views across the harbour to Havana and go to the part where there is a map and a series of numbers on the ground- if you stand on the number and face the direction of the arrow, you can locate the various landmarks of Havana like the Capitolio, Hotel Nacional, Plaza de la Revolucion etc.
During the day, it is pretty quiet. It is $8 CUC to come after 4 pm but which entitles you to stay and watch the canons being fired off once dark hits.
From there, we headed 10 minutes over to the Cristo statue and took the stairs down to Casablanca where we caught the ferry heading to la Habana Vieja - it is 1 peso nacional and they will search your bags (a result of the attempts to hijack these worn down old boats and take them to Miami. PS the perpetrators were executed).
Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro or simply CASTILLO EL MORRO dominated the Port entrance and guarding the entrance to Havana Bay. Built in 1589 it was strategically placed here as there was already a natural elevation of rock.
This impressive fort is perched on cliffs on the opposite side of the Harbor from old Havana,
Entrance is 4 CUC and 2 CUC for a permit to take photos.
Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro, often simply known as "El Morro" is a beautiful fortress built into a cliff that guards the entrance to Havana Bay. It was built in 1589 by Italian engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli when Cuba was under the control of Spain, and is now crowned with a lighthouse built in 1845.
El Morro is visible from many places along the Malecon, but it is definitely worth the short trip to visit inside. Once inside the fort, its massive towering walls abruptly overlook the unending sea, giving everything a sense of immenseness. You can wander freely through the fort, the narrow passages and dungeon areas, and climb right to the edge of the cliffs where the waves crash down below. It's a great place to take photos as the views are unbeatable.
It's 4.00 CUC for admission, +2.00 CUC to climb in up into the lighthouse, and +2.00 CUC to take photos. There is also a touristy outdoor market near the entrance if you get the urge to do some souvenir shopping. It's all open and outdoors so it's worth trying to go on a cooler day. The whole fortress should take a few hours to explore, and it is absolutely breathtaking, so don't miss it!
Completed in 1630, the castillo guards the entrance to the Canal de Entrada and offers one of the best views of Havana. The lighthouse was added in the nineteenth century.
Interesting to simply explore the cobbled recesses and combine it with the Fortaleza de la Cabana. Take either a bus through the tunnel or take a ferry (docks near to the Convent of San Francisco: ferry goes to Casablanca which is close to the Fortaleza)
Open: Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 6.30pm
Sunday 9.30am - 1pm
Entrance Fee: $3
El Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro and La Fortaleza San Carlos de la Cabana are located across the bay of Havana. From La Habana Vieja, you can easily take a taxi to get through the tunnel. Built in 1763, the Fortaleza is a great place to go when you feel like getting away from the bustling city to walk around and enjoy the view of Havana from across the bay and perhaps get something to eat at one of the restaurants located inside the walls of the fortress. From the Fortaleza, you can easily walk to the Castillo. The main attraction of the Castillo is the lighthouse that was build in 1845 and is still in operation today. Visitors are allowed to climb up to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy the beautiful panoramic view. If you know a bit of Spanish you can talk with the lighthouse keeper who'll explain how the lighthouse works. I've been in many lighthouses before but it was my first time going into one that isn't fully automated so I really enjoyed my visit.
Just a short hop across the harbour is the prominent Castle Morro, the fortress which was used to protect Havana in colonial days. Apparently the fort really goes off of a night time, but we visited during the day, and practically had the place to ourselves. There are some fascinating little displays, including the room that Che Guevara worked in during his time overseeing Cuba's finances.
The views of Havana are spectacular from the fort, so it's well worth the short taxi ride there, if for no other reason. Also within walking distance of the other fortress, which is out on the peninsula.
El Morro, perhaps one of the symbols of Havana together with the Giraldilla and other monuments. A must to every visitor who wants to enjoy nice views of havana and learn more about cuban and havana history.
Its construction started in 1589 and finished in 1630. Its construction was directed by Juan Bautista Antonelli, an Italian military engineer, who also was architect of San Carlos de la Cabana. It was the most important fort of the colonial times, not only from the strategic-military point of view, but also for its effectiveness as lighthouse and symbol of the city. When the British invasion took place in 1762, the castle was damaged. So it had to be reconstructed and upgraded. The lighthouse was built in 1844 to replace with a more modern one, the existing model from 1764. Declared National Monument years ago.
This is the official name, but most ppl call it El Morro. It is a national monument that was built in early 17th century to protect the harbour entrance to the Bay of Havana. It was attached by the British from land in 1762 and Havana remained under British rule until a year later.
The castle is in irregular shape and is surrounded by moats. There are four series of batteries facing different directions.
The 10m tall lighthouse was added to the castle in 1844. It gives a panoramic view of the Malecon, old Havana, Vedado and the ocean. The breeze from the ocean is certainly welcoming, especially after a long walk!
Nearly three million people live in Havana, which has the country’s most important airport and is the seat of the central government. It is also noted for its fascinating history, night life and architecture.
Havana is marked by world-class universities, hotels, theatres, museums, restaurants, night clubs, cultural and recreational centres, parks, squares, science institutes and sports facilities. Not to be missed are historical sites such as Morro Castle, the Malecon, Cathedral Square, Central Park, the Capitol building, La Rampa, the white-domed Coppelia ice cream parlor, Revolution Square, the Tropicana Nightclub, Guanabacoa, Miramar, El Vedado and San Antonio de los Baños. Hemingway’s favourite hangouts are still there, too—La Bodeguita del Medio restaurant, the Floridita restaurant, Ambos Mundos hotel and Cojimar fishing village. Just outside Havana are excellent beaches, among them Santa Marìa del Mar.
Visit museums that specialize in the arts, sciences and history. These include: the Arms Museum, Literacy Museum, Jose Marti Birthplace, Museum of the City of Havana, Museum of Colonial Art, Museum of Decorative Arts, Museum of Natural Sciences, Museum of the People’s Struggle, Museum of the Revolution, Napoleonic Museum, National Museum of Fine Arts, Numismatic Museum, Postal Museum. (2 hours)
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