San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress: The largest in America

Up on a hill at the east of the City of Havana, coming down the rim at the entrance of Havana Bay and some 300 meters from the Three Morro Kings Castle, lies the largest fortress in America: San Carlos de la Cabaña.

Its construction took place between 1763 and 1774 under the command of Spaniard military engineer Don Silvestre Abarca. Due to the high budget of 14 million duros it involved, it is linked to a story at that time.

Carlos III, King of Spain back then, requested a spyglass, headed for a balcony of the palace and responded to the question of some visitors, about what he wanted to see. He claimed: "The Cabaña, such a valuable work, should be spotted from Madrid".

This fortress, along with the Three Morro Kings Fortress comprises the Military Morro-Cabaña Park, the largest museum in the country. It took in the main military bodies of the Spanish crown and served as a prison to the countless patriots of the war for independence in the last century where some of them were also shot.

The fortress holds the most important ancient weapon collection of the country: a catapult and a mediaeval ariet natural size; the snake shape swords from southern Asia; the Indian katar, the dreadful three blades dagger; the worshipped samurai's katanas, the Islamic decorated rifles and the complete battery of cannons from the 18th Century made in Sevilla.

The Cabaña was venue to the headquarters of Ernesto Che Guevara during the first months after the triumph of the revolution in 1959.

There is an exhibition of his personal objects and photos at the house where he settled.

The distinctive touch of this place comes with the most typical of Havana traditions: The Cannon Shot Ceremony, a ceremony taking place every night starting 20:30. San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress, located in the municipality of East Havana, is included in the system of fortresses that along with the Old Havana was declared by the UNESCO as World Heritage Site, Open From Monday through Sunday 10:00 – 22:00

Tel. (537) 62- 06-17 to 19 (537) 63-70-63.
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