Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Castle Morro

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The Legendary Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca or Castillo de El Morro is among the bautiful places of the Caribbean city of Santiago de Cuba. Built initially in 1589 in response to raids on Havana harbor, el Morro protected the mouth of the harbor with a chain being strung out across the water to the fort at La Punta. Morro Castle in Havana shares the name with other structures in Santiago de Cuba and the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In this case "morro" in Spanish means a rock which is very visible from the sea and therefore serves as a navigational landmark.
Morro Castle (Castillo del Morro), completed in 1640, on the northern side of the port entrance to the bay, Havana, Cuba.

Morro Castle is one of the historic sights of Cuba. Morro is located on top of a rocky promontory and once served to guard the Bay of Havana in the Cuban city of Havana. The castle is situated on the opposite shore of the port of Old Havana and is one of the most romantic sceneries, which can be seen here.

Morro Castle is often confused because of similarity of names with the castle of Santiago de Cuba and the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The project of building a Morro Castle was awarded the Italian engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli in the late 16th century. The fortress was finally completed in 1589, when Cuba was under the control of Spain. Castle Morro was named after the biblical text for the three wise men who visit Jesus after birth. In 1762 the Morro Castle is in the hands of the Spaniards.
With its building, in 16 century Morro Castle with opposite La Punta serve as guards at the port of Havana bay. Between the two forts were tightened (under water) huge ropes or chains that stopped the unwanted invasion of enemy vessels.

The first attack in history against the fortress Morro is precisely when the British invasion came in 1762. Then the castle is defended by Luis Vicente de Velasco e Isla, land attacks against the British Lord Albemarle, who landed in the east of Havana Cojimar. Unfortunately during the battle one of the bastions of Morro does not last and the fortress was conquered by the British.
Today Morro Castle has turned into an interesting tourist attraction. Beyond the walls of the fortress, one may consider a Museum of headlights. Some time ago there was housed a school for training of persons operating headlights. Itself, a beacon of Morro Castle was added in 1846. Before the British invasion here, could be seen a high tower which is now only a memory.
The main palace in the fort is a massive four-storey building. Antique guns around the castle today are pretty rusty, and the fence wall had failed to keep in great shape. Curious to visitors are old toilets and their system of drainage, the mechanism of sliding down a bridge. Today the Morro Castle houses the office of Captain of the Port of Havana.


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