The Lighthouse and the Giraldilla: two icons of Havana

The Lighthouse and the Giraldilla: two icons of Havana

Heritage & Traditions

By Rose Ross

The foreign visitor always expects to go to those spaces that distinguish their destination. In the case of Havana, these sites are not few, many buildings and symbols identify it. However, there are two very old emblems that continue to enchant thousands of visitors every year: The Morro (lighthouse) and The Giraldilla (weather vane with the figure of a woman).

The Castle of the Three Kings of Morro, the full name of this construction, is part of the Morro-Cabaña Complex. Created at the end of the 16th century, it constitutes the oldest fortress built by the Spanish in America with the aim of defending the city from attacks by corsairs and pirates.

It currently hosts numerous events such as the International Book Fair, and has hosted on several occasions, editions of the International Handicraft Fair and the Havana Biennial.

It has museum rooms with permanent exhibitions and the historic tradition of the cannon shot is still celebrated at 9:00 pm every night, a sign of the closure of the walls of Havana in colonial times.

For its part, The Giraldilla was made by Havana sculptor Jeronimo Martín Pinzón at the beginning of the 17th century. They say it is inspired on a beautiful love legend from the mid-16th century. The sculpture is said to represent Isabel de Bobadilla who longingly awaited the return of her beloved Hernando de Soto, governor of Havana in 1537.

The replica of the statuette crowns the Castle of the Royal Force, because the original is in the Museum of the City, former palace of the Captains General. In addition to being the symbol of the city, its image identifies the logo of Rum Havana Club, a product also iconic to Havana and Cuba.