Real FuerzaSince the 16th century pirates and corsairs raided the Caribbean Sea. The geography of the island, with plenty of keys and islets, was a favorable environment for such activities. These raids stemmed from the tight control that the Spanish tried to exert, at the time, over the commerce of its American colonies, effectively denying other countries the possibility to trade.

The town of San Cristóbal became a very special settlement since the second half of the 16th century, because what was then the Bay of Carenas was the main stopover on the way to the American continent.

Morro fortressMany tried to reach the Cuban shores, beginning with the French who were the first to break the exclusive hold Spain had over American commerce. The first attack dates back to 1537, when the town was pillaged and burned down. In 1555 Jacques de Sores razed and set the settlement on fire. Over time, the English and the Dutch would be added to the list: Francis Drake, Robert Baal and Henry Morgan among others.

El Castillo de la Real Fuerza and simultaneously San Salvador de la Punta and El Castillo de los Tres Reyes Magos del Morro were the first three fortresses built. These three fortresses are nowadays displayed on the city shield.