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Old Havana and its Fortifications

Fast Facts

  • Location: The main area of the original city of Havana, Cuba
  • Time to Visit: During Winter
  • Preferred timings: Daytime
  • How to Reach:Jose Marti International Airport with its 3 separate terminals is the chief international airport near Old Havana. Apart from air access, you will get frequent bus services. Viazul operates an inter-city coach service to/ from most major destinations including Camaguey, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, Pinar del Rio, Sancti Spiritus, Santa Clara, Santiago de Cuba, Trinidad, Varadero and Vinales. You may also hire a car to reach Old Havana.
  • Nearest Railway Station: Central Railway Station
  • Nearest International Airport: Jose Marti International Airport
This is one of the earliest Europeans settlements in the New World. Its fortifications betray the grit, determination and enterprise of the people who first arrived here from across the Atlantic in search of trade, commerce and subsequent prosperity. Old Havana and its fortification truthfully represent the rich, eventful and at times violent history of these early days of colonization in America. Presently, the urban center of Old Havanah along with its fortifications is a declared World Heritage Site in Cuba.


Havana, established in 1519 by the Spanish, had become Caribbean's one of the main centers for ship-building by the 17th century. The old center of Havana preserves remarkable combination of Baroque and neoclassical monuments and a harmonized collection of private houses with arcades, balconies, wrought-iron gates and internal courtyards.

What to see
  • Bacuranao Fortified Tower

    Located by the Bacuranao River on the beach of the same name, it was one of the corresponding fortifications built in 1650 to protect northern coast of Havana
  • Cojimar Fortress

    This is a unique construction planned as part of the city's protection with the purpose of preserving the eastern side of the bay against pirate and corsair attacks.
  • La Chorrera Fortified Tower

    Established in 1646 at the corner of Malecon and Calle 20 Vedado, the tower protected the access to the Almendares River.
  • Morro Cabana Military Park

    This fascinating complex offers the travelers the chance to experience five centuries of Havana's diverse history.
  • Real Fuerza Castle

    Established between 1558 and 1578 and located next to Arms Square and Avenida del Puerto, it is the oldest fortress in Havana. Formerly it was the residence of Spanish governors during the colonial times.
  • San Carlos de la Cabana Fortress

    The fortress, located behind the Morro Castle, was constructed between 1763 and 1774 in order to strengthen the defense of Havana.
  • San Lazaro Fortified Tower

    Located next to the Antonio Maceo Park, the watch tower was built in the 16th century in the ancient San Lazaro cove, outside the boundaries of Old Havana.
  • San Salvador de La Punta Castle

    Located west of Havana Bay, the castle was established between 1590 and 1600 in order to defend the entry of the port from corsair and pirate attacks.
  • Tres Reyes del Morro Castle

    Situated at the doorway of the bay and built between 1589 and 1610, the castle forms part of the Morro-Cabana Historic Military Park.
Old Havana in its entirety summarizes a philosophy, that of the being a living part of a city that draws the attention of everyone on account of its warm hospitality and diverse culture, in addition to its rich history. Revive the divine splendor of captivating past!

Related Links : To check out the beautiful Old Havana town with its distinct charm and its fortifications, watch this video!


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