Begun in 1589, Havana's landmark fort is named for the Reyes Magos—the Magi or Three Kings of Bethlehem, who are the patrons of its chapel—and for the fact that it occupies a morro (promontory) at the harbor entrance. It and its sister fort across the way, La Punta, made Havana the safest port in the Americas at a time when both pirates and imperialists helped themselves to whatever could be had. Built into cliffs, El Morro was furnished with a battery of 12 cannons christened La Batería de los Doce Apóstoles (The Battery of the Twelve Apostles) facing the sea and another dozen, called Las Pastoras (The Shepherdesses), nearer the ramparts. The active lighthouse flashes its beam over Havana every 15 seconds. Inside the castle, across a moat and drawbridge, are stables, the chapel, dungeons, and a wine cellar. You'll also find the fortified vaults, which contain the Museo del Morro, with displays on the fortress itself; the Museo de la Navegación, with navigation and seafaring artifacts; and the Museo de Piratas, with exhibits and bits of folklore on pirates. The armory displays weapons from around the world.
Carretera de la Cabaña, Havana, Cuba