The Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca is a famous historical fortress built on the coast of Santiago de Cuba. It has been appointed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1997, representing one of the best preserved and perfect examples of a Spanish-American military structure. The fortress was built in the 17th century as ordered by Spanish King Philip II for the city’s protection against roaming pirates. Juan Bautista Antonelli, an Italian military engineer, designed the fortress’ unique structure. It was expanded in the 1638 under Governor Pedro de la Roca and further reconstructed in the years that followed.
The unique design of Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca is intended for the steep side of the fortress’ location. When on top, the coast and other small islands can be seen which is very fulfilling for the eyes. Walking inside the fortress provides an appreciation of ancient architecture and an individual can feel what life was like in early times. It was built to protect against pirates, so there are many terraces, defensive walls and bulwarks constructed adding to the fortress’ magnificent design. In the 18th century, some of the fortress parts were used as a prison for political threats. These parts are The Rock or La Roca and The Star or La Estrella. In the early 20th century, The Rock has been damaged but successfully restored by Francisco Prat Puig. Currently, the fortress’ beauty is fully restored and truly rewarding.
Have an appreciation of the ancient infrastructures with a trip at Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca. Bus trips are available for tourists but it can also be reached through a taxi for a little higher price. Arrival of tourists is in highest number during summer and this is the best time of visiting it because the weather is good. Have a trip to this famous fortress and appreciate its rich history.