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One of the largest defensive structures in Cuba, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The fortress was built in the 17th century under the leadership of invited Italian engineers. Their main task was to create an impregnable structure that could repel at that time the main opponents of Spain in the colonial lands – French marque units. This was the heyday of piracy, and organized attacks by robbers to some extent were much more terrible than hostilities on the part of the enemy's standing army.
Construction lasted four decades, and even at that moment the unfinished fortress withstood and repelled attacks by filibusters.
The only force that destroyed the powerful fortifications was the element. For several decades, the seismic activity of this area damaged the secular power of the fortress. When the colonial wars ended, the military detachments left this base, since it was already dangerous to stay there for a long time. For some time the fortress catacombs functioned as a prison for especially dangerous criminals.
Until the middle of the 20th century, the fortress was in an extremely depressing state and gradually collapsed. In 1970, it was decided to completely restore the buildings. Then it was decided to include the fortress in the UNESCO list as a monument of military architecture of Cuba.
To date, all the premises of the fortress are given over to the museum. The main exposition is the trophy items of British and French pirates.
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