Fort San Salvador (Castillo De San Salvador De La Punta), Havana

#14 of 42 in Historic Sites in Havana
World heritage site · Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
San Salvador de la Punta Fortress is a fortress in the bay of Havana, Cuba.
La Punta, just like El Morro was designed to protect the entrance to the Havana Bay that became an important and strategic entranceway to the harbor since the settlement of the town. The nonstop landings of corsairs in the area endangered the harbor and the town. That was why in 1559 it was resolved to post lookouts at La Punta.
In 1582 the king Felipe II, convinced that it was necessary to reinforce fortresses and fleets, ordered the creation of a fortress system in several places of America having its center in Havana.
To fulfill the task Juan de Tejeda was appointed governor of the island, because of his expertise in the matter of fortifications. He brought along the Italian engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli, who has been considered the most renowned professional to practice in 16th century Cuba. The works began by 1590 and went on slowly. In 1595 a hurricane severely damaged the fortress, among other reasons, due to the thinness of its walls that were then more solidly rebuilt. By 1602 there was such a delay in the construction work that the engineer decided to make the fortress into a keep holding some 10 to 12 artillery pieces. Finally, as the years went by it was taken apart, leaving just 3 bastions.
In 1630, due to the short distance between La Punta and El Morro and to increase the protection of the bay, a heavy copper chain was laid between them. This chain can be appreciated in some of the engravings of that time.
In 1762 as a consequence of the fighting during the British expedition against Cuba, the English superiority took its toll on all the fortresses. The safety curtains and bastions of La Punta castle were destroyed during the invasion. At this time a chain branching out in several directions and held by heavy wood beams was laid. Its ends were tied to guns set-in at La Punta and El Morro. Some fragments of this piece still remain.
Later on, with the Spanish back in power, a new governor arrived, fixing and enlarging the fortification system. In the 19th century some changes, such as the 4 esplanades built to accommodate a corresponding number of artillery pieces, were added at La Punta.
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Fort San Salvador (Castillo De San Salvador De La Punta) reviews

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  • This fortress is built directly across from El Morro along the Malcon. t was built to be used to defend Havana in the 1600s. The exhibition was labelled just in Spanish, so couldn’t gather any...  more »
  • There is a great deal of history and the aura centuries. This walk takes you back and plants you in the middle of the image of what was. Visit the fortress at night, when the sun goes down, and be...  more »
  • Small fortress with nice view Well, it's not that big and there's not that much to see. But it's still a nice place with a great ocean side view of Havana. It's conveniently located in the northernmost part of Havana Vieja, so it's easy to get there (=walking). There's some history facts of this and some other fortresses inside the building, for those who care about history.
  • A great example of fortress in Havana and an essential part of the first defensive system in colonial Havana. It is worth visiting and in the museum inside you can learn a lot about the Antonelli family and lineage as they designed many of the main fortresses in America. It is also possible to walk along the pit around the fortress where some scars of the English attack to Havana can be sean. Do not miss this place.
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