The Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca is a fortress located just outside of the city of Santiago de Cuba.
It was designed by the Italian, Giovanni Battista Antonelli, to serve as protection against pirates under Cuba’s Spanish rule. Its construction lasted 62 years, from 1638 to 1700. It underwent many attacks, including ones by the English, and the French, and damage caused by earthquakes all in the late 17th century. Throughout the later years, it was converted into a prison while also serving as a military base during the Spanish-American War in late 19th century.
Since 1997, it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the best preserved and most complete example of Spanish-American military architecture.