Wind Back The Clock and Visit These Five Castles In The Caribbean
Photo Credit: Photo By Jeremy Bezanger

Photo Credit: Photo By Jeremy Bezanger

Wind Back The Clock and Visit These Five Castles In The Caribbean

living abroad , Cuba , Haiti , Jamaica , Puerto Rico , news
Spencer Jones
Spencer Jones Aug 26, 2022

You may not associate castles with the Caribbean, but this region has quite a few of them. Some were built for military purposes during the colonial era, while others housed prisoners in built-in dungeons. But not all have such dark history. In fact, some castles weren’t constructed centuries ago. Modern builders have the skill to emulate the “Old World” feel so close that the untrained eye can’t tell the difference.

Caribbean castles can be visited like any other tourist attraction. Citadelle Laferrière is one of the top attractions in Haiti; a symbol of a new era after the French were defeated. As a former war structure, it makes sense that it lacks the luxurious trappings you’ll find in similar buildings. By contrast, Pattoo Castle in Jamaica is a site of leisure for vacations and special occasions.

Here are five castles in the Caribbean to check out.

Morro Castle- Cuba

 

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Located in gorgeous Havana, this castle was built between 1589 and 1630.

According to Trip Cuba, “the fortress was built to protect the mouth of the Havana port from pirates and invaders.” It was intended to blend in seamlessly with the environment.

There’s a maritime museum on the grounds and in the 1800s, a lighthouse was built.

You can visit for 6 CUC (or convertible pesos) and pay an additional 2 CUC to access the lighthouse.

 

 

Castillo San Cristóbal- Puerto Rico

According to the National Park Service, “San Cristóbal was built with a deep dry moat and a series of tunnels. These tunnels protected soldiers from enemy fire and allowed the safe movement of troops, weapons and supplies.”

The dungeon houses drawings from the 18th century done by an unknown prisoner. When it was in use, the conditions were so terrible (between the darkness, heat and isolation) that “there was no need for instruments of torture.”

If you can get past that, the castle is open for visits and can be used for special occasions like weddings.

 

Pattoo Castle- Jamaica

This recently renovated fortress in Negril is perched on a cliff and offers spectacular sea views. You can walk to the town center in 15 minutes.

The castle has its own website and is also listed on AirBnB. Past guests have rented it not only for vacation, but bachelorette parties and other special events.

There’s a pool, but really who needs that when you have direct access to the sea? It’s perfect for any snorkeling or scuba-diving enthusiasts in your party.

 

 

 

 

Citadelle Laferrière- Haiti

This fortress is on a mountaintop in Port au-Prince, Haiti.

Henri Christophe, a revolutionary, guided the construction.

According to the Haiti Tourism Board, “it was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.”

What makes this structure interesting is that it takes on different shapes depending on where and how it is viewed.

As noted by the tourism board, “if visitors are approaching it by the main trail (leading to the top of the mountain), the Citadelle’s appearance resembles the prow of a great stone ship jutting out of the mountain.”

The Citadelle was built with the expectation that the French would try to reclaim the island by force. It has been damaged by earthquakes over the years, but by and large it remains intact.

 

 

 

Cooper's Castle- The Bahamas

Cooper’s Castle is a private residence in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island.

However, according to Viator, “tours of the castle and grounds are available if booked in advance. They last about 45 minutes and offer the chance to explore grounds and enjoy the ocean view from the balconies.”

The blue and white facade is instantly recognizable and aside from tours, it has been used as an event venue in the past.

Find pictures of the castle here.

 

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