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Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress

Discover San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress in Havana, Cuba, and learn about all that happened here

Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress
Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress
©Tai Pan

Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress is located in a hill in the eastern side of the port of Havana. This vast fortress was erected in the 18th century, between 1763 and 1774, as way of protecting the weakest spot of the city’s defense system.


San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress
San Carlos de la Cabaña Fortress
 ©Tai Pan

In 1262, the British took hold of the fortress and bombed the city until it surrendered. Therefore, King Carlos III of Spain ordered the construction of this grand fortress to ward off any more attacks. Nowadays, it is the largest fortress in America, 700 meters side to side and with 19 towers. This impressive fortress kept invaders at bay for centuries. In the 19th century, some Cuban patriots were executed here. It is interesting to know that both Machado and Batista used this fortress as military prison and, after the Revolución, El Che set up his headquarters here.

Nowadays, the fortress is restored to welcome tourists and it can take as much as a whole day to visit it all! You will find plenty of bars, restaurants, souvenir stores, and the world’s largest tobacco store here too. The fortress also houses the Museo de Fortificaciones y Armas (Fortress and Weapons Museum) and the Museo de la Comandancia del Che (El Che’s Headquarters Museum). Everyday at 9pm, the cannon is fired in a ceremony where actors dressed in period costumes from the 18th century fire the cannon over Havana’s port, which was the signal, until the year 1850, of the closing of the city’s gates.

More information:


Parque Histórico Militar Morro-Cabaña.

Ticket Price:

6 CUC during the day, 8 CUC at night.

Opening Hours:

From 8am to 11pm everyday.

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