Castillo de la Real Fuerza, Havana

4.3
Explore a star-shaped fort built in the 1500s at Castillo de la Real Fuerza. Part of a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fort was originally designed to defend against pirates during a time when Havana was one of the most active commercial ports in the New World. The fort was reopened in 2010 as Cuba’s premiere maritime museum. The museum today displays a large amount of information from the 16th and 17th centuries as well as showcasing highly detailed ship models. Visitors learn about the layouts of various kinds of ships made and used in the harbor. Use our Havana travel planner to visit Castillo de la Real Fuerza on your trip to Havana, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Castillo de la Real Fuerza Reviews
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  • The place itself is amazing, a fortified super Castle where they kept the treasures that Spanish ships brought throughout the Americas. From here started the convoys carrying everything as a result it of looting during the colony, and to strongly guarded they allowed them to cross the Atlantic without being prey to pirates, to deposit it in the metropolis.
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  • This museum in particular tell of colonial Spain. More valuable than think. However, unfortunately. That tells us diligently in English, called dark skin women guides. When we visited, was in charge of silver coins and jewelry section. Please also start hot but not lecture, finally has been requesting tips. It was certainly easy to understand lectures, horribly. We are careful.
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  • Along the coast, closest to the historic four means four fortresses (Fuerza, Morro fortress, fortress of Vung Tau, cabanas Fortress) in Havana's fortress (built the first Fortress). Watchtower? saw hilaldija statue on the top of the dome.
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  • Very disappointing. We were charged for admissions and five minutes later we are being told the place is closing in five minutes. A lady approached us and told us that since we seemed like nice people she would get us into an area of the museum that was off limits. She walked us into a room that had a cord. She removed the cord and asked us to hurry in as if she was doing something wrong. It was all staged. The area is not off limits but they convince you it is. This was in 2012.
  • Very cool mini castle with its own moat. It was set up as one of the defense points for Havana in case of pirates or attempted invasions. Since the city was completely walled in when it was founded. Shows history about how trade was handled and Spanish ships that dominated the carribean during Spanish control of the island.
  • After Havana was raided in 1555 by French buccaneer Jacques de Sores, destroying the original fortress, it was necessary to build a new fort to protect the city from further pirate attacks. Castillo de la Real Fuerza was completed in 1577 to serve this purpose, but soon proved to be ineffective because of its poor position too far inside the bay. No longer useful for defense, military commanders and governors moved in to make the castle their residence. It also was used as a place to safely store treasures brought from America. In 1634, the lookout tower was crowned with a bronze weather vane known as La Giraldilla. It soon became a symbol of Havana, even though there is disagreement about what it represents. Theories range from it being a symbol of victory, a representation of Seville, and a likeness of Ines de Bobadilla, the wife of Spanish governor Hernando de Soto. Today the fortress is a shipwreck museum, displaying jewels, artifacts and a huge model of a naval ship. While the model ship was impressive, the rest of the museum was rather boring. Everything was labeled in Spanish, so we were unsure of the significance of what we were looking at. Our visit was also tarnished by the staff members who persistently hassled us for handouts.
  • Very nice castle with outside display of century old canons including what must be a big bertha of those times.
  • Didn't go in because the museum lady was rude! Asked her a simple question in Spanish what kind of castle it was/what is was used for so we could understand what kind of museum we'd be entering and she rolled her eyes at me and said, "it's a museum, you need to pay."

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Where to stay in Havana

Old Havana remains the most popular neighborhood to stay in Cuba's capital. Here you'll find all manner of accommodations, from budget guesthouses and bed and breakfasts to luxury hotels. Some of the back streets in the old town can be quite rough, so visitors with children might want to steer clear of the area. Providing a quieter, more residential alternative, the western suburb of El Vedado exudes a relaxed atmosphere and serves as the perfect spot for a family vacation. If you're after better beach access, look farther west to the upper-class district of Miramar.
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