Castillo de San Marcos, Saint Augustine
CASTILLO de SAN MARCOS
National Monument - The oldest stone fort in the U.S. Built 1672-1695 as an outpost of the Spanish Empire to guard St. Augustine. It was also used to protect the sea route for ships returning to Spain.
phone (904) 829-6506
VISIT CASTILLO SAN MARCOS.
The fort is the oldest in the US and is the absolute cornerstone of the historic district of St. Augustine, Florida. As the oldest masonry fort and the best-preserved example of Spanish fortification in the US , it is quite a significant place to explore American history and much overlooked in my opinion. Though ground was broken in 1672, it was not completed until 1756 so it was many years in the making and underwent many alterations as it changed hands from British to Spanish to French control. It is an historical gem;-)A 'must see' in any trip to Florida!
The fort itself is a quadrangular with four-bastions and a now dry moat that used to ebb and flow with the tide. The outer walls are over 12 feet thick at the base, tapering to 7 feet at the top and are built of coquina blocks quarried on nearby Anastasia Island.
It reminds me a bit of the castillo in San Juan Puerto Rico and its 80 miles from my doorstep!
The fort protected St. Augustine from pirate raids throughout its existance and from the Spanish foe, British foe or French foe....depending on who occupied the area throughout its history. In its earliest days it was also a prison for American Indians.
It was also given a number of different names during its long history. After Florida was turned over to Great Britain in 1763, it was called Fort St. Mark. In 1825, it was named Ft. Marion, and in 1924 was declared a national monument, turned over to the National Park Service and restored to its original name Castillo de San Marcos.
The fort was my favorite thing, probably because it was the only thing that we saw! Definately need to get back to Florida to see more of it.
Fondest memory: I don't know if this is a fondest memory, but the drive across the Florida panhandle was very, how should I put this, BORING! I thought driving across Kansas was bad, but Florida is right up there if you drive along the interstate. I have heard if you drive along the coast, it's pretty. Learned that lesson the first time, will not repeat it again in the future!