Castle del Príncipe (Havana)

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The Castle del Príncipe

The Castle del Príncipe is a military fort located in the Loma de Aróstegui, in Havana, Cuba.


The castle has the shape of an irregular pentagon and has two bastions, two semi-bastions and a rediente, further comprises deep trenches, mine galleries, warehouses, offices, a cistern and a housing area large enough to accommodate a garrison of a thousand soldiers, its defensive artillery had 60 cannons of various calibers. It also has special system of underground tunnels built with red bricks that allow communication with all the outposts and most remote positions of the castle.

The position of Castle del Príncipe allowed from there reached a broad view of the city, to the remains of the old city wall, from Campus Martius.

The fort presided the Avenue Carlos III, today called Salvador Allende, which led to the house of rest and recreation of the General Captains, called Quinta de los Molinos.


The fort was built during the surge of military construction in Cuba, after the end of the Capture of Havana by the English that lasted almost a year, the Spanish government realized that the city was unprotected and transformed the Key of the New World in the most fortified city in the Americas. The castle is named after Charles of Bourbon, Prince of Asturias, son and future successor of King Charles III of Spain. The construction was led by Colonel of engineers Don Silvestre Abarca who made it the Fortress of San Carlos de La Cabaña in the bay.

Work begin in 1767 and conclude in 1779, but since 1771, had been already fortified the place, while these finished the rest of the works of all military set.

The fortification had various uses, including highlights of jail, whom it served from colonial times until the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the castle becomes the most important of Havana, after the arrival of the evolutionary the fort passes host a unit of military ceremonies.

Housed detainees and prisoners, including the teacher of José Martí, Rafael María de Mendive, also kept prison Julio Antonio Mella, Eduardo Chibás, Raúl Roa García, Juan Marinello and many other prominent revolutionaries.