The Castillo San Salvador de la Punta ranks as one of the best historical landmarks in Cuba. For centuries, it has stood guard over the Havana Bay and remains a striking presence.
The fortress is situated on the Bay of Havana. It can be seen directly opposite that of Morro castle. The configuration was intentional: invaders who tried to cross the bay would be caught between the two.
What to See
There are ancient cannons remaining in the fortress. On the castle’s western side is a plaza. There you will see a statue of Venezuelan general Francisco de Miranda Rodriguez (1750–1816).
Go 100 meters east of the castle to see the Pierre D’Iberville (1661–1706) statue. He was a well known Canadian explorer who died in Cuba. Aside from the fort itself, the area is ideal for taking seaside strolls.
The Castillo San Salvador de la Punta was built beginning in 1589 along with the Morro castle. The two fortresses were linked together using a large chain. The idea was to catch any invaders in crossfire. The plan failed when the British mined one of the bastions of the Morro castle. After the British and Spain agreed to a ceasefire, the castle was fortified.
The fort’s original designer was Juan Bautista Antonelli. The structure was damaged by a hurricane in 1595. Following the British invasion, a new Spanish governor arrived. The fortress was again changed. Four esplanades were added to accommodate the artillery components.
The entrance is free. If you want to drive there by rental car, it will cost CUC 65 a day minimum. Taxi fares at the city center are 25 CUC. There are less expensive ones, but they are illegal.
A visa costs 15-25 CUC or 15-25 Euros. You can buy these at the airport. These are valid for thirty days. If you want to extend it, go to an immigration office in Cuba.
To the south of the castle is a park. It is separated into two parts by the Avenida de los Estudiantes. In 1997, the fortress underwent reconstruction. It was reset to its original position along the docks. The canons were also set by the rocks. The park surface has been layered with red ceramic tiles.
The Castillo San Salvador de la Punta is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays 8:30 am up to 5:00 pm. On Sundays it is open 9:00 am to 12:30 pm.