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  • Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres

    San Pedro de la Roca Fortres, Santiago de Cuba. Cuba

    • Destination: Santiago de Cuba
    • Open: Daily
    • Address From: Santiago de Cuba
    • Telephone:
  • Description Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres, Santiago de Cuba. Cuba

    The Legendary Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca or Castillo de El Morro is among the picturesque places of the Caribbean city of Santiago de Cuba, as popularly it is identified.  Its origins go back to the conquest process and Spanish colonization in Cuba, during the second decade of the XVI century, when begins to outline the necessity to build military fortresses.

    The city of Santiago de Cuba, had a slow development as for the defense system. In 1639 can be found the first great project to build in the Santiago de Cuba bay a excellent military fortress. For this time, Pedro Roca de Borja informed to the Spain King, of the election and inspection of the most favorable point to build the project.  The XVIII century can be called as the golden age of the military fortresses in Cuba. it's worth pointing out that in this period the existent fortresses were modernized, in keeping with the advances of the military strategy for the fortresses, while others were added as Jagua, La Cabaña, Atares and El Principe only to mention the most outstanding.

    In the second half of the XVIII century, the commercial relationships are enlarged between Cuba and the Metropolis, as consequence of the boom of the military constructions; from Spain it were sent to the colony from bricks until groceries and fabrics, of there, that the historical investigations highlight that from 1764 at 1780 entered in the Island more than 15 million pesos, quantity that offers the idea about the monetary circulation inside of and outside of the country.

    A lot of history enclose the Castillo de El Morro, that throughout more than 360 years, it was recognized by its historical and architectural extraordinary values, as well as to be the vast example and complete of the beginning of engineering of the rebirth in Caribbean. Because of those merits it was declared in July of 1988 as World Heritage.

    El Morro is for the santiagueros, national and foreigners tourists a forced place of visit, where the colonial history is conjugated with the historical contemporary events. There, starting from 1997, its splendor is revived with the first works in its repair whose main objective is destined to rescue all this whole defensive complex as historical and cultural park.

    In its installations, it’s rehabilitated a museum whose rooms collect the principle events linked with the naval battle of Santiago de Cuba, episode of the Hispanic-Cuban-American war in 1898, as well as photograph linked with the events of Maine, Spanish and North American military chief, the admiral Pascual Cervera and the vice-admiral Sampson and the plans of the coastal defenses and batteries of El Morro. With that high recognition, UNESCO honors the Caribbean old city and its inhabitants who have the compromise of watch over for good with zeal this place and to preserve it for the future generations.

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  • San Pedro de la Roca Fortres is located in Santiago de Cuba
  • It limits to the north with the province of Holguín; to the west with Granma; to the south with the Caribbean Sea, and to the east with the province of Guantánamo. The province covers a total area of 6 343 21 , Km². You can get here through Antonio Maceo International Airport, also by road from any other part of Cuba, or by sea ─in this last case, requesting the services from Punta Gorda Marina.

    Two particular features characterizes Santiago de Cuba that make it exceptional: its hospitality, with people of happy and relaxed temperament and its rich historical-cultural wealth. Its Caribbean identity is evident in its popular music and in folklore manifestations. It depicts the title of Heroine City of the Republic of Cuba for the role carried out by its inhabitants in the revolutionary struggle during the decade of 1950. Privileged by its historical past, in Santiago de Cuba there are two of the Cuban places distinguished by UNESCO with the title of World Heritage: the San Pedro de la Roca Castle and the ruins of the first French coffee plantations in La Gran Piedra. The Santa Ifigenia cemetery , the 26 of July Historical Museum and the Siboney Farm, are places indissolubly linked to the history of Cuba.

    Cayo Granma and Baconao Park (Biosphere Reserve) also part of the attractiveness of this region. As a tourist destination, Santiago de Cuba, combines excellent possibilities for the enjoyment of beaches, city and nature tourism for to the places of interest in those three scenarios.

    For those who arrive in Santiago de Cuba, there are diverse lodging options in the city and in its surroundings, linked as much to the sea as to nature. With a variety of categories and levels of comfort, it will always be a guarantee for the visitors looking for harmony and soothing rest. There are other things, among so many, that make people from Santiago proud: to be the birthplace, par excellence, of almost all the musical genres of Cuba, a country where the music is soul and root; also, the carnivals that every month of July take place here, are the most spectacular in the country; as well as their rum, the well-known Fiestas del Fuego and the already traditional Festival of the Caribbean.

    The region of Santiago de Cuba has the necessary infrastructure to encourage tourism of events and congresses; it also has in its mountainous and seafaring environment the conditions to develop nature and adventure tourism, trekking, nautical activities, and health tourism. But there is nothing better than walk its undulating and narrow streets loaded with history and music at the same time.

  • Reviews
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  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Very good
    Lian

    Fortress and sea
    Spanish fortress, south of the city was built in 1633 , designed by same author of Morro in Havana. It has long and disturbing history. Place is nice but crowded with touristic scams who want to sell you cigars etc. Very strange is that you won't see any ships in front of fortress or even birds (don't know why). Scenery is spectacular (sea and coast). Cool restaurant next to fortress with best place to seat and eat carribean food.

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Excellent
    Banchy

    Lovely Views
    The Castillo de Morro was stragically located on the harbour of Santiago to defend the city against pirates and other invaders. "This is an old garrison that still appears to be guarding the entrance to the bay, even though the English pirates have long since sailed off into history. To reach the fort it is necessary to go to the outskirts of town and it is well worth the trip just to see this castle built in 1643. The fort offers a vantage point from which to see the whole port and Sierra Maestra Mountains. In addition to guarding the bay, it was also a prison and tomb for Cuban patriots in the 19th century. The complex also includes the Museo de la Piratería (The Pirate Museum)."

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Excellent
    Daniela

    Very Very Nice
    We rented this most wonderful 1959 Chevy and driver and drove out to the Castillo del Morro to watch the sunset. The sunset across the sea with the wonderful mountains on the right was a fabulous sight but in addition to that was a pleasant bonus. I guess it must be every single day like the ceremony in La Habana but a small brigade of Cubans dressed in the 19th century garb of those who fought for independence against the Spanish fire a cannon into the sea at around 6:30pm - of course finishing up by saluting Cuba Libre.

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Very good
    Andres

    Castle
    El Castillo del Morro, built in 1633, Santiago de Cuba, is set high on a 60 metre promentary with an awesome view of the harbour! It was Italian designed in 1587 but eventually Spanish built Best preserved military complex added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Open from 9 to 9 with $4 admission fee. It has four levels and the lowest level is guarded to keep single tourists out for 'safety' reasons but I got past him and got this shot!!! Nice isn't it? There are organized tours but you can get a taxi driver to take you to both here and El Cobre from Parque Cespedes for $25 USD. He will wait for you at each site and drop you off where you want. Very convenient!

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Very good
    Felix

    Nice view
    The view from El Castillo de San Pedro del Morro looking west along the coastline. Absolutely awesome! The Spanish soldiers had an awesome view of the harbour. In this dierection you can find many quiet public access beaches west of the city. You can swim or snorkel and explore the abundant marine life

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Average
    UpNorthOntario

    “Beautiful but beware ”
    We went to see this beautiful castle. The old building and all it's history was amazing. The views were breathtaking. I did enjoy this excursion, but......when we got there the guides that worked started to harrass us for money. I was acutally cornered in a room by a women and she was very adament about getting money from me. This... More 

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Average
    jooplent

    “nice castle with good views ”
    Ah, what to say, it was kept rather well, the views were good, the explanations minimal to average, and the guides did not know a lot more than the usual guidbook

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Very good
    Whitters80

    “The oldest fort in the Caribbean... Of course a must see! ”
    Rather beautifully perched over looking the weather beaten coast line, this fort is a real must see. The lighthouse is very cool too, and the views from the top are great. You can smell the history here as you look down and imagine all the pirates that once sailed across these legendary waters.

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Excellent
    683denisd

    “Walk into history ”
    The most spectacular castle visit I have ever experienced. A local language guide is very useful if you can find one. This is a very well preserved part of Caribbean history. It will take a good half hour to really get around it and take a camera!

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Excellent
    Alexandre G

    “Awesome! ”
    This is an awesome castle. Well preseved and incredible experience to see. Poor pirate that tried to cross.

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Excellent
    stevejc

    “Stunning views ”
    You can feel the hairs on the back of your neck rise when you stand and overlook the bay and imagine the pirate ships coming in and all guns blazing. The thickness of the walls shows why it took so long to build. The atmosphere is electric, you can almost feel Zorro running along the walls. (and i know zorro... More 

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Excellent
    Winter_wonderlands

    “Stunning. You can even get there by taxi mopeds! ”
    We got taxi mopeds to from the city centre, who waited for us and then brought us back to the city. Riding through the hills on mopeds was exhilerating. The place was lovely and had a romantic and spiritual feel to it, even if you're not a religious person yourself. Recommended

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Excellent
    gandhy2014

    “?The Morro? of Santiago. ”
    The original design is due to the Italian architect Giovanni Battista Antonelli, son of Battista Antonelli who left his talent written in stone in other castles in Havana (El Morro, la Punta). This first design was built for the Santiago?s defense under the rule of Governor Pedro de la Roca, but it was broke down by british invaders in 1662.... More 

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Excellent
    wisniowka

    “one of my fauvorites in whole Cuba ”
    Amazing wiev. I was lucky not only because of great weather and blue sky but also took a lot of photos of oil ship from Columbia entering Santiago Bay

  • birdsofafeather1
    Review about Colonial Fortress: San Pedro de la Roca Fortres
    Awfull Excellent
    Jimtraj

    “Italian elegance ”
    Can a fort be elegant? Of course, if the architect is Italian! The same architect designed the Morro in La Havana. An exceptionally well preserved fort, housing a small interesting museum. We went there just before sunset at 7pm to attend the firing cannons ceremony because we could also take nice pictures of the surroundings at this time. In La... More