Santiago de Cuba was one of the largest cities in Cuba since the 1500s and a fort was built to guard the entrance to the harbour. This fort was manned continuous for almost 100 years before it was abandoned. Briefly it was reoccupied during the war of independence around 1898. In between it served a prison for washed up mayors and generals based on the plague on the wall commemorating them.
From the land the fort is unimposing until you pass through the first gate where a giant dry mount was built complete with a second gate. From the sea the fort has between two and three layers of defence. The castle is a UNESCO site which is why we came here.