Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña

Fort in Habana Vieja
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Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña

With the aim to fill the city’s slight defense niche on the east side of Havana’s harbour, the Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña was constructed from 1763 to 1774 upon the order of the Spanish King Carlos III. This order was given as a consequence after the British had taken control over Havana in 1762, to prevent future invaders from taking control of the city. Measuring 700m from one end to another, and covering over 10 hectares, this colossus is herewith the largest Spanish fortress in the Americas. Since its construction, no attacks were attempted. Past dictators Batista and Machado used it as a military prison, while Che Guevara set up his headquarter there, utilising it for executions among other activities. Today, this fortress can be visited by everyone up to half a day, should you desire to spend more time visiting. If you ever wondered where the world’s longest cigar is located, it is exactly there too. La Cabaña is home to the Museo de Fortificaciones y Armas as well as the Museo de Comandancia del Che. Every night at 21:00 you can hear the cañonazo – a famous ceremony where actors dress up in 18th century military uniform, firing the canon. This ceremony is open for everyone, every evening at 21:00.

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