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Lima, Peru

Real Felipe Fortress

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Take That, Pirates!

Back in the colonial days, Callao was the main seaport of the Viceroyalty of Peru: Heapfuls of goods and treasure from the New World passed through the city bound for Spain. This, naturally, made it a pretty enticing target for pirates. The Real Felipe Fortress was constructed in the mid-1700s to repel such raiders. The fortification also played a pivotal and victorious role in the Battle of Callao during the Chincha Islands War of 1866, when Spain made a go at reclaiming Peru as its own again. Today the Real Felipe Fortress, which remains an impressive castle-like structure, hosts a museum of Peruvian military history, which includes everything from Incan weaponry to cannons and tanks. Highlights of a fortress tour include the cramped dungeon and the coastal vistas from the towers.

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