This well-preserved, 16th-century fort sits within a broad cloverleaf moat. This is the oldest fort in Havana, and the oldest surviving fort in the hemisphere. It was actually pretty much a failure, built too small and too far from the harbor entrance to be of much use. Still, crossing over the old drawbridge and walking around the ancient stone battlements gives you a great sense of history. The most distinctive feature of this compact fort is the weathervane, La Giraldilla, which has come to be the city's defining symbol. The original 1634 bronze sculpture is actually on display at the Museo de la Ciudad, but a copy still adorns the top of the fort's bell tower. Today, the fort also contains the Artistic Ceramic Museum, with ceramic works by Wifredo Lam, Amelia Peláez, and Mirta García Bus, among others, and brand-new exhibits with items salvaged from shipwrecks and with replicas of Spanish colonial boats.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Recommended 2010
- tel: +53 7 204 0624 (Tourist Information)
- Calle O'Reilly 2
- At Av. del Puerto
- Havana 10100
- Daily 8am-7pm
- No Sweat
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