CubaPLUS Magazine

The Jiguaní Fort, invitation to history

By: Amanda Bedia
Mar 06, 2024
The Jiguaní Fort, invitation to history

Popularly identified as the Fuerte de la Loma or Fort of Jiguaní, it is a colonial military fortress built about 200 meters from the historic center of the ancient town of San Pablo de Jiguaní, a site where Christian humans and aboriginals lived at the dawn of the colonization of Cuba.

jiguani-3.jpgThey say that it was built in the mid-19th century and the remains of its stone walls more than adorn the landscape, they speak to the inhabitants of that municipality, currently belonging to the eastern province of Granma, with past glories such as being the land where the National Hero José Martí fell in combat at the beginning of the Necessary War of 95.

Due to its location on a kind of hill in the middle of the Cauto plain, the most extensive area of Cuba, it became an extremely useful enclave for Spanish surveillance regarding the sighting and transit of pro-independence insurgent troops. Erected on a quadrilateral layout, its vestiges still preserve the top of the bastions of the gunports or embrasures where the pieces of artillery were as placed. The old pedestal where the heliograph was placed is still identified as superior, which turned the fortress into a relevant communication point in the eastern region.

jiguani-1.jpgIt also served as a reference point for merchants and travelers in the area, which made them gain esteem among the town's residents. Its architecture responds to the Renaissance lines common in the colonial military buildings of that time. It was found that it had two floors, the upper one made of wood and disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the subject of a restoration process in 1961, and is declared a Local Monument and proposed to be a National Monument.

It is one of the most prominent historical sites in Jiguaní, like Dos Ríos, watered by the last blood of the Apostle of Cuba. Locals think that if you talk about Jiguaní, you can never miss mentioning the Fort, a symbol that has its place in the town's coat of arms. It can be said that despite time, the also called Fuerte de la Loma has reached almost entirely to the present day and according to experts it is a reference for its own characteristics, different from the rest of the military constructions of that epoch.

Its privileged geographical location, far from its military uses, today provides magnificent visualizations of the landscape and a healthy and pleasant knowledge of the history of Cuba and the splendid nature of the Big Island.

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