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The Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, rises 60 meters above the sea.
It is one of the most famous and unique monuments in Santiago de Cuba.
How to get there? What to see at the Castillo de San Pedro? We tell you everything.
Getting to the Castillo San Pedro de la Roca del Morro
To get to the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, head south of Santiago de Cuba, about 9 kilometers from the center of the city.
The trip takes 15-20 minutes by cab.
Count 15 CUC from Parque Céspedes.
Or you can take the 212 bus to Ciudamar.
You will then have to walk the rest of the distance (about 20 minutes).
A bit of history
In the 16th and 12th centuries, the Caribbean was the scene of constant confrontations and looting.
To protect the main Cuban cities, the Spanish launched the construction of several large fortresses.
They built the Castillo de los Tres Santos Reyes Magnos del Morro at the entrance to Havana Bay.
And the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro was built on the rocky promontory of El Morro, 60 meters above the sea, to defend Santiago de Cuba.
The plans for the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro were drawn up by Juan Bautista Antonelli.
He also designed the Castillo de los Tres Santos Reyes Magnos del Morro in Havana.
Started in 1633, the construction of the citadel was completed about sixty years later, despite some obstacles and not the least.
Thus, in 1662 the English took control of Santiago de Cuba and occupied the city for two weeks.
In the process, they did not fail to destroy a good part of the fort, which was under construction.
Sixteen years later, in 1678, the French attacked the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro.
Then it was the turn of the Antillean freebooters in 1680.
Numerous earthquakes also damaged it between 1675 and 1692, and again once the construction was completed, between 1757 and 1766.
In 1775, the castle was transformed into a prison.
The Spaniards imprisoned political opponents who questioned their supremacy.
During the war between the Spaniards and the Americans in 1898, the Castillo de San Pedro de
la Roca del Morro temporarily resumed its role as a military fortress.
In the 1960s, the Cuban architect Francisco Pratt Puig launched a project to renovate the castle.
In 1997, the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Visit the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro
The Castle of San Pedro de la Roca is open every day of the week from 8:00 am to 7:30 pm.
The entrance fee is 4 CUC per person.
You will be asked to pay an additional 5 CUC if you wish to take pictures. Once inside, you can freely explore the many corners of the castle.
Do not miss its terraces and bastions offering splendid views of the sea and the surroundings.
The fortress also houses the Museo de Piratería.
You will also find a room dedicated to the Spanish-American War.
Unfortunately, the explanations are only given in Spanish, which is a pity…
As in Havana, a ceremony of the cannons, the ceremony of the “cañonazo”, is organized every day./see