La Punta Castle
La Punta Castle, locally known as Castillo de La Punta, is situated in the city of Havana on Cuba. Its full name is Castillo de San Salvador de La Punta.
The site of La Punta was strategic for the defense of Havana, situated on the western shore at the entrance of the bay. So after Havana was attacked and taken, in 1555, by the French pirate Jacques de Sores, who had landed at or nearby this site, it was decided a fortification was to be build here.
In 1558 the Italian military engineer Giovanni Battista Antonelli came to inspect the defenses of the city. A year later he returned with workmen to fortify the La Punta site and the El Morro hill on the opposite shore of the bay entrance.
Construction of the present La Punta Castle however did not start until 1590, almost the same time as El Morro Castle. It was finished in about 1610. It was linked with El Morro Castle, via an iron chain during times of uncertainty. In the case of an attack, this chain was tightened up and enemy ships were prevented from entering the bay.
In 1762, a British squadron under Admiral Sir George Pocock attacked and captured Havana. During this attack La Punta Castle was almost destroyed. After this attack, the governor, Count de Ricla, ordered the reconstruction of the fort in accordance with the original plans and under the direction of the engineers Silvestre Abarca and Agustin Crame.
In 1865, the Corps of Engineers did a report that described La Punta Castle as a quadrilateral fort whose bastioned walls measured externally: maximum 100 meters, minimum 58 meters and situated 210 meters from the Plaza. The fort then possessed a garrison of 60 men and 19 pieces of artillery.
La Punta Castle can be visited for a small fee. There is however not very much to see inside. This is a small and not very interesting fort.