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Fortified Town of Campeche Historical Facts and Pictures

The harbor town of Campeche, situated in the Mexican state of Campeche, has Baroque colonial architecture exhibiting a checkerboard street plan with its historic center being surrounded by defensive walls. The fortification system is a fine example of the 17-18th-century military architecture. It constitutes a general Spanish defensive system established to protect the major Caribbean ports from buccaneers and pirates.

Campeche Map

Campeche Map



Campeche Pictures

Campeche Pictures

Campeche Night View

Campeche Night View


Founded by Francisco Montejo El Mozo in 1540, Campeche was located to the south-west of Ah Kin Pech, a Mayan region that was occupied by the Spanish rulers from 1517. Due to its military and commercial importance, Campeche became the second largest town in the Gulf of Mexico. In the early 18th century, it was encompassed by a hexagonal wall that was 6-8 m high, 2.5 m thick, and had a perimeter of more than 2,500 m, with eight bastions located on the corners. A fine theater, balancing the urban structure, was constructed in the nineteenth century.

Important Structures

The Bastions

  • Santa Rosa: Named after Rosa de Lima, the first Holy American, this bastion now contains the art gallery.
  • San Carlos: This was the first bastion constructed devoted to King Charles II. Currently, it houses the City Museum.
  • Nuestra Senora de la Soledad: Currently houses the Museum of Maya Architecture, it is the biggest of all the bastions, consisting of three rooms and a portal.
  • San Juan: Named after San Juan de Dios, it was constructed to protect one of the main entrances called the ‘Gate’.
  • San Francisco: Also constructed for the protection of the Land Gate, it now houses the Gustavo Martinez Alomia Library.
  • San Pedro: This 17th-century bastion served as a prison and played a crucial role in protecting the town from the attacks of Merida government.
  • Santiago: The original structure was constructed in 1704, but demolished in the twentieth century. The original has been replaced by a replica that now houses the Xmuch Haltun Didatic Botanical Garden.
  • San Jose: It has been demolished.

Fort San Miguel

Occupying an area of 41,527 sq ft (3,858 sq. m), it served as the headquarters of President Santa Anna during the 17th century. At present, the fort has a hydraulic system.



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Quick Info

4th October, 1540

19°51’0”N and 90°31’50”W

Campeche, Campeche, Mexico
UNESCO World Heritage Site