Faro Castillo del Morro, Havana, Cuba

Thanks to Tom Pohrt and Martijn Tersteeg for these photos of the Castillo del Morro lighthouse in Havana, Cuba. We begin with the mariner's view of the lighthouse from the harbor. Behind the lighthouse is the historic fort everyone calls El Morro ("the bluff"). Its correct name is Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, the Castle of the Three Kings on the Bluff.

Photo copyright 2003 Martijn Tersteeg. Used by permission.

Floodlit every night, the lighthouse also displays two white flashes every 15 seconds to guide ships into the harbor. Built by the Spanish colonial government of Cuba in 1845, the 82-foot tower is one of the island's oldest lighthouses and certainly one of its best known. The fortress is much older; it was built 400 years ago to guard the entrance to Havana Harbor. The tower is 82 feet high and displays two white flashes every 15 seconds at a focal plane of 144 feet. The fortress and the lighthouse are open to tourists daily.

Photos copyright 2003 Tom Pohrt; used by permission.

The lighthouse is equipped with a beautiful bivalve lens and an electrically-driven rotating mechanism. The plastic lens at the top of the picture is an emergency light that is displayed if the mechanism fails.


As we can see in the photo at left, the tower is built of cut stone blocks. The photo below shows the view from the gallery, looking northward over the walls of the fortress to the waters of the Florida Strait.

Photos copyright 2004 Tom Pohrt; used by permission.

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Updated with new photos February 21, 2004. Checked and revised November 18, 2017. Site copyright 2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.