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  • Colonial Fortress: Real Fuerza Castle Museum

    Real Fuerza Castle Museum

    • Destination: Havana
    • Open: 1,2,3,4,5,6
    • Address: Calle OReilly and Avenida del Puerto, Old Havana
    • Telephone:
  • Description

    Around 1540 there was a fortress called Fuerza Vieja (Old Forces) in the place later occupied by the Castillo de la Real Fuerza (Castle of the Royal Forces).The old fortress was erected because of the pirates and corsair’s raids that the town began to undergo in the 16th century. The first attack goes back to 1537, when the town was pillaged and burned out. There were many attackers, including Jacques de Sores (1555) and Francis Drake among others, who between the 16th and 17th centuries kept the Spanish authorities in suspense. The so called Fuerza Vieja was located three hundred paces to the northeast of the Real Fuerza, at the entrance of the Tacón Street, near the spot where the Iglesia del Santo Ángel Custodio would be erected in the 17th century. The Fuerza Vieja was destroyed in 1582 due to its decaying state (it stood up to three pirate raids) and scarce strategic value.

    The authorities of the island took steps in order to have a new fortress. In 1558 arrived in Havana the engineer Bartolomé Sánchez, appointed by the king Felipe II. The construction of the fort was delayed because of disagreements among the governor, the neighbors whose lots were expropriated for the works and the engineer himself. The arrival of a new master builder on the same year had a sorry ending. It wasn’t until 1577 that the Real Fuerza was finished, thanks to the work of black slaves and Mexican money. The governor Francisco Carreño ordered an upper storey (having portholes) built to keep the gunpowder and weapons in and also to serve as barracks for the garrison and its captain. Actually, once finished, the fortress held just a few men and scarce ammunition.

    Real Fuerza CastlaThis work, like the ones to follow, was made out of limestone coral rock, dug out from the shore. In the construction of the Real Fuerza they followed after the guidelines of the most modern Renaissance ideas. The fortress has underground vaulted storerooms, moats, drawbridge, sloping walls, bastions, etc. It was the safest building of its time. That’s why it was taken as residence by the Spanish governors. The first to inhabit it was Juan de Tejeda. Afterwards, every governor added some changes. For example Francisco Cajigal added a room overhanging the seawards side with a wide balcony. Juan Vitrián de Viamonte, in the first half of the 17th century, had a watchtower crowned with a bronze figurine in the shape of a woman built. This figurine was a copy of the Giralda of the Seville Cathedral and worked as a weather vane.

    It is said that the Giraldilla is a symbol of victory, though over time it has become a symbol of the city. It holds a palm tree in its right arm (only the trunk remains) and in its left arm a staff with the calatrava cross, symbol of the military and knightly order of which Vitrián was a member. The figurine shows a medallion on its chest engraved as follows: ‘Jerónimo Martín Pinzón, artificer, caster and sculptor’. Pinzón was an artist from Havana deceased in 1649. Around 1706 a bell was placed on the tower.

    The Giraldilla (Fuerza Castle)The façade of the fortress was demolished in 1851 to isolate the Templete. In this way O’Reilly Street stretched all the way to the docks.

    Among other functions it was the venue of the National Archive from 1899 and the National library between 1938 and 1957; it also had the offices the National Commission of Monuments and Centre of Preservation, Restoration and Museology after 1959. It was the Museum of Arms, but it had to be replaced due the unfavourable conditions to preserve its patrimonial exhibition.

    In 1977 was declared museum, coinciding with its 400th anniversary. It has offered transitory exhibitions of Cuban contemporary art and collective international expositions of a high level. A new museum project was inaugurated in 1990, and it defined the place as the location of the contemporary artistic ceramics.

  • To view all Colonial Fortress in Havana then click here .
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  • Airports next to Real Fuerza Castle Museum
  • Havana Airport

    José Martí International Airport (IATA: HAV, ICAO: MUHA), sometimes known by its former name Rancho-Boyeros Airport, is located 15 km (9 mi) southwest of Havana, Cuba, and is a hub for Cubana de Aviación, Aerogaviota, and Aero Caribbean, and former Latin American hub for Aeroflot Soviet Airlines.[2] It is Cuba's main international and domestic gateway, and serves several million passengers each year. The airport lies in the municipality of Boyeros and connects Havana with the rest of the Caribbean, North, Central and South America, Europe, and one destination in Africa. It is named in memory of patriot and poet José Martí. In the 1960s the airport was bombed by B-26 aircraft from Brigade 2506, a CIA-sponsored group of Cuban exiles attempting to liberate Cuba from Fidel Castro. Cubans are not allowed to own aircraft or use the airport for either private or commercial flight. Only government-owned aircraft are allowed to use the facilities. There are currently four passenger terminals in use at the airport, plus a freight terminal.[3] Terminal 1 is used primarily for domestic flights. Terminal 2 opened in 1988, primarily for charter flights to the United States. Ten years later on April 27, 1998, the International Terminal 3 was opened by Canada's then-Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, and former Cuban president, Fidel Castro. International Terminal 3 offers many modern facilities and jetways that the former international Terminal 1 did not provide. Terminal 5 is operated by Aerocaribbean. Today, Copa Airlines is the foreign airline with most flights to the airport, operating 34 flights a week (roughly 5 daily flights) from Panama City, Panama, and Bogota, Colombia. The airport is operated by Empresa Cubana de Aeropuertos y Servicios Aeronáuticos (ECASA).

  • Playa Baracoa Airport

    Playa Baracoa Airport serves domestic flights scheduled by the local airline Aerogaviota and is situated about 28 km west of Havana, in the village of Playa Baracoa, (Province Artemisa).

  • Car Rental offices next to Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
  • Car Rental office Hotel Ambos Mundos

    Calle Obispo esq Mercaderes, Habana Vieja
    8669616 114m

    Car Rental office Crucero

    Avenida del Puerto, la Habana Vieja
    8660284 343m

    Car Rental office Terminal de Crucero

    Ave del Puerto. Habana Vieja.
    8626343 407m

    Car Rental office Museo de la Revolucion

    Calle Refugio. Nro. 1, entre Zuleta y Avenida de las Misiones
    78632271 715m

    Car Rental office Hotel Plaza

    Calle Ignacio Agramonte. Havana Vieja
    8668915 857m

  • Gas stations next to Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
  • La Rampa

    Calle 23 e Infanta, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8731480/873148 2km 959m


    Malecón y 13. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 334588 3km 616m

    L y 17

    L y 17, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 334587 3km 676m


    Vía Blanca No. 46005 y 462, Intermitente de Guanabo. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 964093/964094 3km 676m


    Ayestarán y Ave. de Rancho Boyeros. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 666051 5km 286m


    Paseo y Malecon. Havana City. Cuba. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 333027 5km 348m

    17 y 12

    Calle 12 esq. a 17, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8339238/8333272 5km 464m

    Santa Catalina

    Santa Catalina y Vento. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 335531 5km 868m

    El Tunel

    Calle 2 No. 518 e/ 5ta. B y 7ma. B, Miramar, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2041906/2047470 6km 550m

    31 y 18

    Ave. 31 y 18, Miramar. Havana City. Cuba. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2040520 7km 167m

  • Restaurants next to Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
  • Don Giovanni

    Old Havana. Cuba
    +53 7 335979 47m

    La Mina

    Obispo No. 109 esq. a Oficios, Plaza de Armas, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8620216 73m

    La Dominica

    OReilly No. 108 esq. a Mercaderes, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8602918 77m

    El Templete

    Ave. del Puerto No.12 esq. a Narciso Lopez, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8668807 108m

    Al Medina

    Oficios No. 12 e/ Obispo y Obrapia, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8324671 108m

    El Condado, Hotel Santa Isabel

    Baratillo No. 9 e/ Obispo y Narciso Lopez, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8608201 112m

    Roof Garden Torre del Oro

    Trocadero No. 55 e/ Prado y Zulueta, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8608560 114m

    La Torre de Marfil

    Mercaderes e/ Obispo y Obrapia, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8326256 133m


    Obrapia e/ Oficios y Mercaderes, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8671030 190m

    La Paella, Hotel Valencia

    Oficios esq. a Obrapia, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8633838 200m

  • Automatic Cash next to Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
  • 0011

    Calle 17 e/ M y N, FOCSA. Havana City
    3km 551m


    Línea No. 705 e/ Paseo y A. Havana City
    5km 132m


    Calle 1ra. No. 40 e/ 0 y 2, CIMEX
    6km 778m


    Calle 70 e/ 1ra. y 3ra., Hotel LTI Panorama. Havana City
    9km 708m


    Calle 17 No. 8215 e/ 82 y 84. Havana City
    9km 902m


    Ave. 3ra. e/ 78 y 80. Havana City
    10km 054m


    Calle 16 No. 306 e/ 3ra. y 5ta.. Havana City
    10km 054m


    Calle 16 No. 310 e/ 3ra. y 5ta. Havana City
    10km 054m


    5ta. Ave. esq. a 112. Havana City
    11km 315m

  • Currency Exchange next to Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
  • Lonja del Comercio

    Calle Oficios esq. a Baratillo. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 669628 244m

    Hotel Sevilla

    Paseo del Prado esq. a Refugio. Havana City
    (537) 8639030 880m

    Hotel Parque Central

    Paseo del Prado e/ Neptuno y Virtudes. Havana City

    Hotel Deauville

    Calle Galiano esq. a Malecón. Havana City. Havana City. Cuba
    1km 418m

    Hotel Vedado

    Calle O e/ 23 y 21. Havana City. Havana City. Cuba
    3km 078m

    Hotel Nacional

    Calle O y 21. Havana City
    (537) 8733564 3km 808m

    Hotel Cohiba

    Calle Paseo e/ 1ra. y 3ra. Havana City. Havana City. Cuba
    5km 379m

    Hotel Riviera

    Calle Paseo esq. a Malecón. Havana City
    (537) 662185 5km 506m

    Agromercado 15 y 24

    Calle 15 y 24, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 333915 6km 142m


    Ave. 5ta.B esq. a calle 2. Havana City. Cuba
    6km 584m

  • Clinics next to Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
  • Hermanos Ameijeiras

    San Lazaro No. 701 e/ Belascoain y Marquez Gonzalez. Centro Haban
    (537) 8761000 2km 190m

    Retinosis Pigmentaria Centro Internacional Camilo Cienfuegos

    Calle L No. 151 e/ Linea y 13, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8333886 3km 805m

    Instituto Cardiovascular

    Calle 17 esq. a Paseo, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8382652-53 4km 801m

    SPA Hotel Riviera

    Malecón y Paseo, Vedado . Havana City
    (537) 8368756 5km 506m

    Sucursal Servicios Médicos Internacionales

    Calle 18 No. 4304 e/ 43 y 47, Miramar. Havana City
    (537) 2040114 6km 851m

    Centro de Histoterapia Placentaria

    Calle 18 esq. a 43. Playa. Havana City. Cuba
    6km 876m

    Cira Garcia, Clinica Central

    Calle 20 No. 4101 esq. a 41. Playa . Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2040331 6km 931m

    Ramon Pando Ferrer, Hospital

    Calle 76 No. 3104. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2654800 9km 147m

    Comodoro, SPA Club

    Ave 1ra. y 84, Miramar. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2045049 10km 260m

    Orthopedic Hospital Frank Pais

    Ave. 51 No. 19603 e/ 196 y 200. Havana City, Cuba
    (537) 2627022 ext. 478 13km 040m

  • Drugstores next to Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
  • International Drugstore Hotel Sevilla

    Calle Prado esq. a Trocadero. Havana City
    (5348) 8615703 880m

    International Drugstore Hotel Habana Libre

    Calle 23 esq. a L , Vedado. Havana City
    (5348) 8319538 3km 365m

    International Drugstore 41 y 20

    Ave. 41 esq. a 20, Miramar. Havana City
    (537) 2069985 6km 998m

    International Drugstore Casa Bella

    7ma. Ave. y 22 No. 2603. Havana City
    (537) 2047980 7km 551m

    International Drugstore Miramar Centro de Negocios

    Ave 3ra. y 82, Miramar. Havana City
    (537) 2044515 10km 046m

    International Drugstore SPA Comodoro

    Ave 3ra. y 84, Miramar. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2049385 10km 260m

  • Real Fuerza Castle Museum is located in Havana
  • Capital of Cuba and the country's administrative, political, cultural and scientific center, it is also the capital of two provinces: City of Havana and Havana. Though only around 280 square miles (727 square kilometers) in size-0.65 percent of the archipelago's total area.

    The Old Havana and system of forts led UNESCO to declare it a part of world heritage in 1982. Founded on its present site in 1519, the settlement of San Cristobal de La Habana prospered mainly due to its bay, which was a natural port of call for ships sailing to and from the New World. Starting in 1634, because of its strategic location, San Cristobal de La Habana was considered the key to the New World-as attested to by royal letters patent-and the main defense of the West Indies.

    The Cuban capital consists of an immense number of buildings in a wide range of architectural styles, built in the course of nearly five centuries. These styles range from the pre-baroque to the baroque, neo-Gothic, neoclassical, eclectic, art noveau and art-deco, to the modern.

    Alejo Carpentier, one of Cuba's most famous authors, called it "the city of columns" and focused attention on its streets, which he considered a perennially rich show of life, humanity and contrasts that was bound to entertain any observer.

    Over 14 kilometers of excellent beaches lie to the east of the Cuban capital. To the south, a green belt contributes to a healthful atmosphere.

  • Reviews
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    • birdsofafeather1
      Review about Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Average

      “Might have been interesting... except for the staff! ”
      The Castillo de la Real Fuerza was a bit of a letdown. We went hoping to learn about the Castillo and a bit of the history of the area. It's not expensive (<$5 a person) and it is worth exactly that. The architecture is interesting and there is a lot of history in the rocks... There are some interesting exhibits,... More 

    • birdsofafeather1
      Review about Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Very good

      “And the history goes on... ”
      It is the first military castle built in Havana to guard the entrance to the bay. Today it is a museum and you can even see some objects found on spanish wrecks just outside Havana bay. The structure still remains like it was in the 1600.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Review about Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Very good

      “Great little museum ”
      in an old fort with a moat for only a couple of dollars you see a wide display of maritime and historic artifacts including the story of discovering the sunken treasure. Museum staff are extremely helpful and proud to assist and explain or answer questions.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Review about Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Very good

      “An old fort with a fascinating history ”
      Was more interested in the building than the maritime museum that it houses. So different ot most of the other historical buildings in Havana but when you understand Cuba's history, it is easier to understand the need for such a fort.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Review about Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Very good

      “Visit if you have time ”
      It is not a must see place if you are short on time. You can walk in the yard without paying a fee. Inside is a naval museum.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Review about Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Very good

      “A private guided tour ”
      A guide came up to us and offered us a private tour. We, my friend from Tokyo and I negotiated a price and agreed for a half an hour tour. He started talking about the history of Cuban ships, how Cuban wood was high in demand for the Spanish, English, Holland and the pirates. One by one , room to... More 

    • birdsofafeather1
      Review about Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Very good

      “Worth a Visit. ”
      Don_G_Wright gave a good back-ground on the history of the place. The entrance is set back in a wide courtyard lined with cannons. It is accessed by crossing a bridge over a moat featuring an odd display of concrete turtle shells. We were told they are there to symbolize the abundance of turtles in the bay at the time of... More 

    • birdsofafeather1
      Review about Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Very good

      “Display of treasures retrieved from sunken ships ”
      This little fort is complete with a deep and wide water-filed moat, drawbridge entrance, and lookout bell-tower. Built between 1558 and 1577 to protect Havana from pirates and other invaders, it was poorly located and was soon replaced by bigger and better situated forts in the area. It was kept in use as a government residence and a place to... More 

    • birdsofafeather1
      Review about Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      “The oldest fort ”
      This construction is very old and the habaneros are very proud of it because Havana and Santo Domingo have the oldest fortresses in America. I ve been visited the Castle since I was born and I go getting older while the castle have changed only a few (and for better) What a shame! It was erected to substitute the first... More 

    • birdsofafeather1
      Review about Real Fuerza Castle Museum Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      “Very Interesting ”
      This is an old Spanish fort or Castillo by the bay which houses a maritime museum. We had read good reviews on it so decided to give it a try. The entrance fee was 3 CUCs per person and we were approached by a guide, no price was negotiated but at the end he asked for 4 CUCs each, I... More