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  • Colonial Fortress: Morro Castle

    Morro Castle

    • Destination: Havana
    • Open: 3,4,5,6,7
    • Address: Carretera de La Cabana, Eastern Havana, Havana City. Cuba
    • Telephone: (537) 863-7941
  • Description

    From the 16th century on, the advantages of the natural rocky elevation that lay by the bay’s entrance, called El Morro, became evident. At the beginning two lookouts were posted in this place to watch over the area. They had a slate roofed hut. In 1563, the authorities built a stone and mortar watchtower. The arrival of Tejeda and Antonelli gave El Morro a new importance. Alongside Antonelli worked his nephew Cristóbal de Roda as the engineer’s assistant. He takes the credit for drawing the first layout of Havana in 1603. In December 1588 the king appointed a keeper in charge of the fortress that was to be called ‘de los Tres Reyes’ (‘of the Three Kings’).

    Morro FortressBy 1594 El Morro already had a big moat and other changes that had been brought about by the survey made by the Fleet’s Captain Francisco Coloma, who had found El Morro too weak on the land side due to its low walls and the shallowness of the moat. Late in 1602 the wall facing the sea was erected by the entrance of the bay. Soon after a gun battery having twelve cannons was placed on a platform. From that time on they were known as Los Doce Apóstoles (The Apostles). Near the fortress another twelve were placed, known as La Pastora (The Shepherdess). Construction works ended by 1630.

    Morro FortressEl Morro is designed to fit in the sharp accidents of the elevation holding it, and to create successive levels of defensive fire all the way to sea level. It is an irregular polygon. The stones used in its construction were cut on the spot, dug out from the area of the moats. El Morro has wells, barracks, dungeons and a church. In the structure of the fortress there was a turret called El Morrillo used as watchtower. The number of ships within sight was announced with the tolling of the bell and with flags hanging over the gate of the castle. In December, 1845 a tower 30 meters high and 5 meters in diameter was inaugurated. It would become a symbol and a beacon of the city. The light of the lighthouse has a range of 35 miles.

    El Morro was the main scenario of the battle when the English attacked and captured the city with a powerful fleet in 1762. As a result of that battle, the bastions and walls were practically razed, having received the impact of forty thousand bombs and projectiles, as stated in British documents of the time. Then the Spanish flag was pulled down and substituted by the English one until the next year, when the city was again under Spanish rule. The fortress was rebuilt.

    Morro Fortress Morro Fortress is itself a large museum piece which tells us about the solutions of the renaissance architecture applied on the military strategy. Two theme halls show the visitors the history of navigation in Havana harbour, where objects rescued from a sunken ship at the entrance of Havana Bay in the 19th Century can be seen. Several temporary expositions with a number of themes are simultaneously displayed.

    The Three Morro Kings Fortress is included in the system of fortress that along with Old Havana was declared by the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Permanent exposition and a visit to the top of the beacon to enjoy the best views of the city are among its main attractions. In the evening the ceremony of lifting the flag takes place, according to the maritime traditions.

  • To view all Colonial Fortress in Havana then click here .
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  • Airports next to Morro Castle
  • 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 Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
  • Car Rental office Museo de la Revolucion

    Calle Refugio. Nro. 1, entre Zuleta y Avenida de las Misiones
    78632271 850m

    Car Rental office Hotel Sevilla

    Paseo del Padro esq Refugio, La Habana Vieja
    8669156 1km 090m

    Car Rental office Lido

    Consulado entre Animas y Trocadero, Centro Habana
    8609053 1km 104m

    Car Rental office Hotel Deauville

    Malecon esq Galeano, Centro Habana, La Habana
    8645349 1km 163m

    Car Rental office Hotel Ambos Mundos

    Calle Obispo esq Mercaderes, Habana Vieja
    8669616 1km 183m

  • Gas stations next to Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
  • La Rampa

    Calle 23 e Infanta, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8731480/873148 2km 516m

    L y 17

    L y 17, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 334587 3km 222m

    Guanabo

    Vía Blanca No. 46005 y 462, Intermitente de Guanabo. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 964093/964094 3km 222m

    Tángana

    Malecón y 13. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 334588 3km 544m

    Riviera

    Paseo y Malecon. Havana City. Cuba. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 333027 4km 912m

    17 y 12

    Calle 12 esq. a 17, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8339238/8333272 5km 281m

    Ayestarán

    Ayestarán y Ave. de Rancho Boyeros. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 666051 5km 603m

    El Tunel

    Calle 2 No. 518 e/ 5ta. B y 7ma. B, Miramar, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2041906/2047470 6km 361m

    Santa Catalina

    Santa Catalina y Vento. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 335531 6km 466m

    31 y 18

    Ave. 31 y 18, Miramar. Havana City. Cuba. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2040520 7km 077m

  • Restaurants next to Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
  • La Divina Pastora

    Complejo Morro - Cabana, Casablanca, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8665432 474m

    La Tasca

    Complejo Morro - Cabana, Casablanca, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8665432 474m

    Los Doce Apostoles

    Complejo Morro - Cabana, Casablanca, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8638295 480m

    Bar Cabana

    Cuba No. 12 esq. a Pena Pobre, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8605670 658m

    Don Ricardo, Hotel Palacio de O'Farril

    Cuba No. 102 esq. a Chacon, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8605080 850m

    La Bodeguita del Medio

    Calle Empedrado No. 207, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8671364 977m

    El Patio

    Plaza de la Catedral, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8671034 993m

    Don Giovanni

    Old Havana. Cuba
    +53 7 335979 1km 095m

    La Dominica

    OReilly No. 108 esq. a Mercaderes, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8602918 1km 106m

    El Templete

    Ave. del Puerto No.12 esq. a Narciso Lopez, Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8668807 1km 157m

  • Automatic Cash next to Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
  • 0011

    Calle 17 e/ M y N, FOCSA. Havana City
    3km 084m

    0014

    Línea No. 705 e/ Paseo y A. Havana City
    4km 790m

    0073

    Calle 1ra. No. 40 e/ 0 y 2, CIMEX
    6km 472m

    0115

    Calle 70 e/ 1ra. y 3ra., Hotel LTI Panorama. Havana City
    9km 599m

    0160

    Calle 17 No. 8215 e/ 82 y 84. Havana City
    9km 967m

    0030

    Ave. 3ra. e/ 78 y 80. Havana City
    9km 980m

    0067

    Calle 16 No. 306 e/ 3ra. y 5ta.. Havana City
    9km 980m

    0183

    Calle 16 No. 310 e/ 3ra. y 5ta. Havana City
    9km 980m

    0031

    5ta. Ave. esq. a 112. Havana City
    11km 307m

  • Currency Exchange next to Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
  • Hotel Sevilla

    Paseo del Prado esq. a Refugio. Havana City
    (537) 8639030 1km 058m

    Hotel Deauville

    Calle Galiano esq. a Malecón. Havana City. Havana City. Cuba
    1km 167m

    Hotel Parque Central

    Paseo del Prado e/ Neptuno y Virtudes. Havana City
    1km 273m

    Lonja del Comercio

    Calle Oficios esq. a Baratillo. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 669628 1km 378m

    Hotel Vedado

    Calle O e/ 23 y 21. Havana City. Havana City. Cuba
    2km 740m

    Hotel Nacional

    Calle O y 21. Havana City
    (537) 8733564 2km 855m

    Hotel Cohiba

    Calle Paseo e/ 1ra. y 3ra. Havana City. Havana City. Cuba
    4km 960m

    Hotel Riviera

    Calle Paseo esq. a Malecón. Havana City
    (537) 662185 5km 028m

    Agromercado 15 y 24

    Calle 15 y 24, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 333915 5km 983m

    Kasalta

    Ave. 5ta.B esq. a calle 2. Havana City. Cuba
    6km 379m

  • Clinics next to Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
  • Hermanos Ameijeiras

    San Lazaro No. 701 e/ Belascoain y Marquez Gonzalez. Centro Haban
    (537) 8761000 1km 977m

    Retinosis Pigmentaria Centro Internacional Camilo Cienfuegos

    Calle L No. 151 e/ Linea y 13, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8333886 3km 304m

    Instituto Cardiovascular

    Calle 17 esq. a Paseo, Vedado. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 8382652-53 4km 540m

    SPA Hotel Riviera

    Malecón y Paseo, Vedado . Havana City
    (537) 8368756 5km 028m

    Sucursal Servicios Médicos Internacionales

    Calle 18 No. 4304 e/ 43 y 47, Miramar. Havana City
    (537) 2040114 6km 779m

    Centro de Histoterapia Placentaria

    Calle 18 esq. a 43. Playa. Havana City. Cuba
    6km 801m

    Cira Garcia, Clinica Central

    Calle 20 No. 4101 esq. a 41. Playa . Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2040331 6km 875m

    Ramon Pando Ferrer, Hospital

    Calle 76 No. 3104. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2654800 9km 371m

    Comodoro, SPA Club

    Ave 1ra. y 84, Miramar. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2045049 10km 170m

    Orthopedic Hospital Frank Pais

    Ave. 51 No. 19603 e/ 196 y 200. Havana City, Cuba
    (537) 2627022 ext. 478 13km 316m

  • Drugstores next to Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
  • International Drugstore Hotel Sevilla

    Calle Prado esq. a Trocadero. Havana City
    (5348) 8615703 1km 058m

    International Drugstore Hotel Habana Libre

    Calle 23 esq. a L , Vedado. Havana City
    (5348) 8319538 3km 039m

    International Drugstore 41 y 20

    Ave. 41 esq. a 20, Miramar. Havana City
    (537) 2069985 6km 937m

    International Drugstore Casa Bella

    7ma. Ave. y 22 No. 2603. Havana City
    (537) 2047980 7km 430m

    International Drugstore Miramar Centro de Negocios

    Ave 3ra. y 82, Miramar. Havana City
    (537) 2044515 9km 972m

    International Drugstore SPA Comodoro

    Ave 3ra. y 84, Miramar. Havana City. Cuba
    (537) 2049385 10km 170m

  • Morro Castle 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
      Ji
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      Morro Castle
      Construction of the Morro Castle, the fortress located at the entrance to the harbor, began in 1589 and concluded 1630, with the objective of warding off attacks by pirates and enemy fleets. It has since become one of Havana's most emblematic monuments. In 1762, during the seize of Havana by the British, the castle was defended by Luis Velasco, who was in command of the garrison and preferred to die rather than surrender. The lighthouse (45 m high) was added in 1845 and is now considered the distinctive symbol of Havana.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Rel
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      Havana symbol
      El Morro, perhaps one of the symbols of Havana together with the Giraldilla and other monuments. A must to every visitor who wants to enjoy nice views of havana and learn more about cuban and havana history. Its construction started in 1589 and finished in 1630. Its construction was directed by Juan Bautista Antonelli, an Italian military engineer, who also was architect of San Carlos de la Cabana. It was the most important fort of the colonial times, not only from the strategic-military point of view, but also for its effectiveness as lighthouse and symbol of the city. When the British invasion took place in 1762, the castle was damaged. So it had to be reconstructed and upgraded. The lighthouse was built in 1844 to replace with a more modern one, the existing model from 1764. Declared National Monument years ago.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Lo
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      Visit Morro Castle
      Nearly three million people live in Havana, which has the country’s most important airport and is the seat of the central government. It is also noted for its fascinating history, night life and architecture. Havana is marked by world-class universities, hotels, theatres, museums, restaurants, night clubs, cultural and recreational centres, parks, squares, science institutes and sports facilities. Not to be missed are historical sites such as Morro Castle, the Malecon, Cathedral Square, Central Park, the Capitol building, La Rampa, the white-domed Coppelia ice cream parlor, Revolution Square, the Tropicana Nightclub, Guanabacoa, Miramar, El Vedado and San Antonio de los Baños. Hemingway’s favourite hangouts are still there, too—La Bodeguita del Medio restaurant, the Floridita restaurant, Ambos Mundos hotel and Cojimar fishing village. Just outside Havana are excellent beaches, among them Santa Marìa del Mar. Visit museums that specialize in the arts, sciences and history. These include: the Arms Museum, Literacy Museum, Jose Marti Birthplace, Museum of the City of Havana, Museum of Colonial Art, Museum of Decorative Arts, Museum of Natural Sciences, Museum of the People’s Struggle, Museum of the Revolution, Napoleonic Museum, National Museum of Fine Arts, Numismatic Museum, Postal Museum. (2 hours)

    • birdsofafeather1
      Lia
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      Morro Castle
      This is the official name, but most ppl call it El Morro. It is a national monument that was built in early 17th century to protect the harbour entrance to the Bay of Havana. It was attached by the British from land in 1762 and Havana remained under British rule until a year later. The castle is in irregular shape and is surrounded by moats. There are four series of batteries facing different directions. The 10m tall lighthouse was added to the castle in 1844. It gives a panoramic view of the Malecon, old Havana, Vedado and the ocean. The breeze from the ocean is certainly welcoming, especially after a long walk!

    • birdsofafeather1
      Laura B
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Very good

      “Good but beware of taxi fares ”
      It is a good place to visit but check on taxi fares before and after. You can see an historic place. It could be a bit more organised but well again.. its Cuba :)

    • birdsofafeather1
      1espresso
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Very good

      “A must see.... ”
      While in Havana you should really go and visit el morro...you have a great view of the harbor. If lucky enough you may be able to visit with the harbor master.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Wms3070
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Very good

      “Impressive harbor entry ”
      I didn't go to the fortified harbor entry and tower/lighthouse itself but I twice walked down to foreshore on the other side of harbor entrance. Great time to catch the colors of the brickwork at dawn and see the locals out fishing.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Colors68
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      “Got to see it ”
      To go to the Morro Castle you have to go under water through a tunnel built in 1950's. Once you get to the Morro you will have an spectacular view of Havana. If you like history and architecture you have to go to El Morro. They have lots of souvenirs and a good cigar store with a very good selection.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Flavia V
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      “My favorite place ever ”
      The sundown seen from here is the most beautiful thing you could ever watch! There is so much history within the walls of this majestic structure. This is one of the most popular attractions of Cuba and it's one of the landmarks. Trust me, you will not regret coming to La Habana and much less exploring places such as this... More 

    • birdsofafeather1
      CazzThom
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      “Very impressive!! ”
      The Fort is really an amazing place steeped in history and tradition.All visitors to Havana really need to make sure they do not miss this. The 9 pm ceremony is really wonderful.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Natalie T
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      “Great Experience. ”
      Must be done once. Children will specially enjoy the canonazo de las 9. Worth seeing the old costumes and customs.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Diannaa R
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      “Best day in Havana ”
      Walked around for over an hour, meet some locals and stayed the whole day there for the 9 pm ceremony. Feel in love with the place and people. I will return next year!!

    • birdsofafeather1
      ILUVMYL
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      “El Morro at Night ”
      An evening time event just to experience the reenactment of the firing of cannons by period costumed guards carrying torches! A great, "must do" activity. It was crowded but the throngs of people added to the air of festivity. Trinkets were for sale by vendors, but not overdone.

    • birdsofafeather1
      Earthwalker5
      Review about Morro Castle Colonial Fortress
      Awfull Excellent

      “historic ceremony ”
      very interesting to walk around, abundant photo ops over to Havana and Malecon. Don't miss canon ceremony in period costumes. I stood near the actual roped off area close to activities photographing others photographers behind ceremony. I wonder whether best photos could be has a little further away from balcony- you will understand when you get there!