Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Havana

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 Reviews

  • Castillo de la Real Fuerza
    Castillo de la Real Fuerza
    by xoxoxenophile
  • Castillo de la Real Fuerza
    Castillo de la Real Fuerza
    by Santini738
  • Castillo de la Real Fuerza
    Castillo de la Real Fuerza
    by Santini738

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  • xoxoxenophile's Profile Photo

    Maritime Museum at the Castillo de la Real Fuerza

    by xoxoxenophile Written Sep 19, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have loved pirates ever since I read Treasure Island in 2nd or 3rd grade, so I was really excited about this maritime museum in Cuba! It's conveniently located in Old Havana, and is in an old fort so it's really fun to explore. They have exhibits of lots of models of ships (so I got to work on my Spanish pirate/nautical vocab), sailing tools like spyglasses, and treasure (coins, gems, jewelry, etc.--who doesn't love treasure?!) The museum staff were also really friendly and practiced Spanish with me. I recommend stopping by while you're wandering around Old Havana!

    Directions: Old Havana near Plaza de Armas

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza
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  • Castillo de la Real Fuerza now a Maritime Museum

    by MIDPTCAN Written Apr 12, 2011

    Castillo de La Real Fuerza has now re-opened as a Cuba’s premier maritime museum. (There is also a small naval museum in Cienfuegos.)

    The museum contains excellent exhibits of Cuba’s maritime past from pre-Columbian days through to the 18th Century with the Royal Shipyard of Havana, one of the largest in the world which built nearly 200 ships for the Spanish Crown. The museum features a huge four metre model of the Santisima Trinidad located on the main floor with a large interactive touch screen which describes life aboard an 18th Century ship-of-the-line in Spanish, French, and English. The original ship was launched into Havana Bay on March 2, 1769 and was the largest ship in the world in the 18th Century, with 140 canons on four gun decks. She was one of four Cuban built ships at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

    Downstairs you will also find ancient navigational instruments, underwater archaeological artifacts, and gold and silver from the colonial era. Also note the original weathervane, La Giraldilla, while her replica moves in the breeze on the top of the fortress tower which also commands a fantastic view of the city. The second level of the museum hosts many other historic and contemporary models of ships with links to Cuba and is also a good location for viewing the harbour and city skyline.

    Address: Plaza des Armas Havana Cuba

    Directions: Beside the Harbour

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    Castillo de la Real Fuerza

    by Santini738 Written Mar 17, 2008

    The Castillo de la Real Fuerza (Castle of the Royal Force) is a fortress on the eastern side of the harbour in Havana, Cuba, set back from the entrance, and bordering the Plaza de Armas. Originally built to defend against attack by pirates, it has suffered from a poor strategic position too far inside the bay. The fortress is considered to be the oldest stone fortress in the Americas, and is listed as part of the UNESCO World Heritage site of "Old Havana and its Fortifications".

    Directions: eastern side of the harbour in Havana

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza Castillo de la Real Fuerza Castillo de la Real Fuerza
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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    CASTILLO DE LA REAL FUERZA

    by LoriPori Written Nov 25, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Built in the 16th century, CASTILLO DE LA REAL FUERZA or Castle of the Royal Forces, is one of the oldest fortresses in the Americas.The fortress was built to protect Havana from raids by pirates and corsairs, that plagued the town in the 16th century.
    It wasn't until 1577 that Real Fuerza was finally finished. The fortress was made out of limestone coral rock, dug out from the Harbour. It has underground vaulted storerooms, drawbridge, sloping walls, bastions and surrounded by a moat. As it was the safest building at the time, Spanish Governors took up residence inside the fortress.
    Entrance fee 1 CUC peso

    Address: Calle O'Reilly 2 Plaza de Armas

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza
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    Castillo de la Real Fuerza

    by leffe3 Updated Aug 3, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The oldest building in Cuba (1558 - rebuilt in 1582). Cute little fort overlooking the Canal de Entrada, the access route from the open sea to the port of Havana. Lots of viewing points and a small museum along with a cafe and gallery. Open daily from 8.30am-6pm. there's not a great deal to see (ramparts, walls and corridors) but certainly worth 30 minutes or so of your time.

    Address: Overlooking the Plaza de Armas and the Canal

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  • crummey's Profile Photo

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza

    by crummey Written Mar 31, 2006

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza (Castle of Force) is a castle in the centre of old Havana that was built by Spanish Conquistadors.

    The fort is surrounded by a moat and there are an array of cast iron cannons, ancient bronze cannons and bronze mortars on display. There is a a bell tower, bunkers and turrets to explore.

    The castle also has several pens where West African slaves were kept upon their arrival. The pens are stone with huge iron gates. The slaves would enter through one gate where they were cleaned up before being led out anotherf gate where they would be auctioned to plantation owners.

    Address: Castille de la Fuerza

    Directions: It adjacent to the Plaza de Armas (Army Square) in the trendy tourist quarter of Havana.

    Jason Crummey and Castle of Force, Havana Bronze Mortars at Castle of Force Jason Crummey in the slave pen at Castle of Force Jason Crummey @ the slave pens
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    Fortress

    by hojasdehierba Written Feb 19, 2006

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    This castle-fortress was built in XVI century to protect La Habana from pirates, after the city had suffered devastation with a buccaneer attack, which destroyed the original fortress in 1555. But the new fortress proved to be equally vulnerable and it was soon appointed to serve as a residence for governors and military chiefs. A weather vane was added in 1634 which was called La Giraldilla and that became a symbol for La Habana. Nowadays, the castle houses the Pottery Museum.

    Este castillo-fortaleza fue construido en el siglo XVI para proteger La Habana de los piratas, despues de que la ciudad hubiese sido arrasada por un ataque bucanero que destruyo la fortaleza original en 1555. Pero la nueva fortaleza resulto ser igualmente vulnerable y pronto fue destinada a servir de residencia a gobernadores y jefes militares. Se le anhadio una veleta en 1634 que recibio el nombre de La Giraldilla y se convirtio en simbolo de La Habana. Hoy en dia, el castillo alberga el Museo Nacional de Ceramica.

    Directions: Old Havana

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  • russian_yaz's Profile Photo

    Real Fuerza, the oldest colonial fort in America

    by russian_yaz Written Apr 6, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Declared National monument. It was built to replace the former fort that the Governor of the Island had built under the orders of the Queen of Spain and which was destroyed in 1555 by the French corsair Jacques de Sores. It used to be the oldest colonial fort of the Americas, and was opened in 1577. It was the beginning of a fortification plan carried out by the Spanish crown in the Caribbean to protect the voyages of the Spanish fleet.

    As it underwent several changes and enlargements like La Torre del Homenaje, a watchtower, and the old post of sentinels in 1632 that was used as a pedestal of a unique symbol of the city and well known worldwide: La Giraldilla, which perhaps represents the Giraldilla de Sevilla. It is also the oldest sculpture of Cuba.

    Today it is the headquarters of the Museum of Artistic Ceramics which exhibits paintings of the Cuban artists Amelia Peláes, Wilfredo Lam, René Portocarrero, Rodríguez de la Cruz, and others representatives of the new generations of Cuban ceramists.

    Address: O´Reilly st. #2 e/ Ave del Puerto and Tacón

    Directions: At the end of Obispo st. in the Plaza de Armas

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza
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    De la Real Fuerza Castle

    by Havaname Written Oct 3, 2004

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    Declared National monument. It was built to replace the former fort that the Governor of the Island had built under the orders of the Queen of Spain and which was destroyed in 1555 by the French corsair Jacques de Sores. It used to be the oldest colonial fort of the Americas, and was opened in 1577. It was the beginning of a fortification plan carried out by the Spanish crown in the Caribbean to protect the voyages of the Spanish fleet. As it underwent several changes and enlargements like La Torre del Homenaje, a watchtower, and the old post of sentinels in 1632 that was used as a pedestal of a unique symbol of the city and well known worldwide: La Giraldilla, which perhaps represents the Giraldilla de Sevilla. It is also the oldest sculpture of Cuba. Today it is the headquarters of the Museum of Artistic Ceramics which exhibits paintings of the Cuban artists Amelia Peláes, Wilfredo Lam, René Portocarrero, Rodríguez de la Cruz, and others representatives of the new generations of Cuban ceramists.

    Address: Calle O´Reilly No. 2 e/ Ave. del Puerto y Tacón.

    Directions: La Habana Vieja. Ciudad de La Habana

    Phone: (53 7) 861-6130

    De la Real Fuerza Castle,Cuba

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    La Giraldilla

    by mim95 Written Jul 22, 2004

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    La Giraldilla is a bronze weather vane on top of the west watchtower of the Castillo de la Real Fuerza. The original is kept in Museo de la Ciudad. It honours Inez de Bobadilla, who served as Cuba's only female governor.

    Address: Calle O'Reilly 2, Old Havana

    Directions: Best seen on Tacon, between O'Reilly and Empedrado

    La Giraldilla on top of the tower of the fortress
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    Castillo de la Real Fuerza

    by mim95 Written Jul 22, 2004

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    Built in the 16th century, the fortress is one of the oldest in the Americas. It was the residence of the Spanish captain general for two centuries, until he got a new home close by at the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales. It is currently in restoration, but remains opened to the public. There is not much on display inside the fortress regarding its past. On the ground level, you'll find the Museo de la Ceramica, with pottery of different time periods.

    Address: Calle O'Reilly 2, Old Havana

    Directions: On the north side of Plaza de Armas, next to the Palacio del Segundo Cabo

    Looking toward Plaza de Armas from the fortress
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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    Castillo de la real Fuerza

    by Luchonda Updated Feb 21, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This 16th century with it's broad and charastitc angular ramparts is the oldest military construction in Habana.
    The location is in old Habana - so next to the traditional hotels like "Park view" and "Hotel Plaza"

    Directions: Around Plaza de Armas

    Castillo de la real Fuerza
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    China museum in an old fortress

    by bzh Written Feb 2, 2003

    The Castillo Real de la Fuerza is to be seen. It is located in Habana Vieja, along the entrance to the bay. Built between 1558 and 1577, it is the oldest fortress of this type in the Americas. Still surrounded by a moat, it is a superb piece of colonial architecture.

    Inside, it shelters the Museum of Artistic Cuban Ceramics. The pieces in themselves are worth seeing, as well as the inside of the fortress itself.

    Address: Avenida Carlos Manuel de Cespedes

    Directions: Habana Vieja, along the entrance to the bay

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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Which dates from 1538. It is not only the oldest fortress in Cuba but also one of the olderst in Latin America. The round fortress tower is crowned by a small figure, known as La Giraldilla and now a symbol for Havana.

    The Castillo meanwhile houses a small museum, coffee shop and a souvenir shop that sells cigars.

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  • RickL's Profile Photo

    Castillo de la Real...

    by RickL Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Castillo de la Real Fuerza
    Admission only $2. It's the oldest colonial fort in the Americas! Built on top of the foundation of another fort destroyed by French pirates in 1558. Surrounded by a moat and was the residence of the Spanish captain's general for 200 years. Numerous art works are on display inside as well.
    Very convenient and a great view of the harbour from the tower.

    Directions: Located on the north side of Plaza de Armas, Havana Vieja.

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