Castillo de San Severino

Fort in Matanzas

Northeast of Versalles lies this formidable bastion, built by the Spanish in 1735 as part of Cuba's defensive ring. It was tested early on by the British; during their 1762 invasion, they mercilessly bombarded it. Rebuilt in the 1770s, it became an offloading point for slaves. Later, Cuban patriots were imprisoned within the walls – and sometimes executed. San Severino remained a prison until the 1970s and in more recent times has become the modest slavery-themed Museo de la Ruta de los Esclavos.

The castle itself has great views of the Bahía de Matanzas, but could offer a lot more to inspire curious visitors.