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Castillo del Morro (San Pedro de la Roca)

The Legendary Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca or Castillo de El Morro is among the picturesque places of the Caribbean city of Santiago de Cuba, as popularly it is identified.

Castle Morro San Pedro de la RocaCastle Morro San Pedro de la Roca

Its origins go back to the conquest process and Spanish colonization in Cuba, during the second decade of the XVI century, when begins to outline the necessity to build military fortresses.

The city of Santiago de Cuba, had a slow development as for the defense system. In 1639 can be found the first great project to build in the Santiago de Cuba bay a excellent military fortress. For this time, Pedro Roca de Borja informed to the Spain King, of the election and inspection of the most favorable point to build the project.

The XVIII century can be called as the golden age of the military fortresses in Cuba. it's worth pointing out that in this period the existent fortresses were modernized, in keeping with the advances of the military strategy for the fortresses, while others were added as Jagua, La Cabaña, Atares and El Principe only to mention the most outstanding.

In the second half of the XVIII century, the commercial relationships are enlarged between Cuba and the Metropolis, as consequence of the boom of the military constructions; from Spain it were sent to the colony from bricks until groceries and fabrics, of there, that the historical investigations highlight that from 1764 at 1780 entered in the Island more than 15 million pesos, quantity that offers the idea about the monetary circulation inside of and outside of the country.

A lot of history enclose the Castillo de El Morro, that throughout more than 360 years, it was recognized by its historical and architectural extraordinary values, as well as to be the vast example and complete of the beginning of engineering of the rebirth in Caribbean. Because of those merits it was declared in July of 1988 as World Heritage.

El Morro is for the santiagueros, national and foreigners tourists a forced place of visit, where the colonial history is conjugated with the historical contemporary events.

There, starting from 1997, its splendor is revived with the first works in its repair whose main objective is destined to rescue all this whole defensive complex as historical and cultural park.

In its installations, it’s rehabilitated a museum whose rooms collect the principle events linked with the naval battle of Santiago de Cuba, episode of the Hispanic-Cuban-American war in 1898, as well as photograph linked with the events of Maine, Spanish and North American military chief, the admiral Pascual Cervera and the vice-admiral Sampson and the plans of the coastal defenses and batteries of El Morro.

With that high recognition, UNESCO honors the Caribbean old city and its inhabitants who have the compromise of watch over for good with zeal this place and to preserve it for the future generations.