St Augustine Castillo de San Marcos

One of my favorite things to do, is to read about History. Visiting  St Augustine in Florida, fills all my curiosity to know more about the "old city", the "fort", the river, etc. Been there transport me to four centuries ago. Its more than a visit, since I travel there many times and always I found more things to discover. In this post I will write about the Fort or the Castle and in other post I will write about the old city.

The Castillo San Marcos is located in the shore of the Matanzas bay in the city of St Augustine, Florida. Is the oldest Fort in United Stated after the Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan Puerto Rico. which many people confuse the pictures. Both look alike and both were build in the XVI century. 

The construction of the Fort of St Augustine began in October 1672 and ended after 23 year in 1695 when Florida was part of the Spanish empire. 
The Castle was made of a stone called "coquina" which is Spanish for small shells. Its a sedimentary rock found around the bay . And you can still see many walls around the city no just the fort are made of "Coquina" which still very firm since four centuries ago. 

Castillo de San Marcos
St Agustine, Florida
The Castillo de San Marcos was renamed three times due to wars and possession. The original name was and still Castillo de San Marcos. But in 1763 was changed after Britain gained control of Florida and was renamed as Fort St Mark. Then when Florida was ceded to the United States in 1821 was renamed as Fort Marion and was used as military prison. Staying like that for more than two centuries, until became a National Park and was changed to his original name " Castillo de San Marcos" .

Castillo de San Marcos is a big landmark in american history and a great destination to visit. This formidable fort, take about 2 hours or less to walk around and inside, take pictures and see how they fired the canons in special days.
Inside the Castle it's a court yard, where they give you a lecture of history about the Castle. Is set in different hours. 

The Castle has different rooms, where you walk in and see what it was there along with information about the jail. which was the last purpose to used this place for more than 200 years for the United States army.

The tickets are sold just outside the castle and price is very affordable (the castle is part of The National Parks) .

 Castillo de San Marcos
St Augustin, Florida

The second floor of the Castle, where the canons are located, the view is beautiful and breezy. The Matanzas river is just there along with the Atlantic ocean breeze.

I totally recommended to visit anytime of the year. There's not long lines in this place, everything is open.  There is not air condition inside the castle except for the bathrooms. However all rooms  have  good temperature due to the location and the design of the building, is a river breeze entering for the big windows and doors.

Definitely Spanish Architects knew how to build a massive structure in the 1600's that doesn't feel hot inside (I visited the Fort in the middle of summer) and it was not hot as I thought, remember Florida an endless summer. 

Something that you may know and probably I am not really proud of what the United States Army did in the 1800s, it was jailed "Seminoles" and other tribes at this Fort in order to break their wills and force them to accept treaties and reservations. That was happened around the globe after the discovery of the new world.

American Indian peoples had to choose -extinction or assimilation. 

That's all in this post. I had a wonderful experience sharing my thoughts and pictures. Hoping you can visit this amazing place. It's a hidden gem in the beautiful Florida.
My two last pictures are in the second floor of the castle. And always will be red English army uniform playing the flout around, welcome you for the visit.

17th Century Red English army uniform
Castillo de San Marcos

Georgina Y. Rodriguez

1 comment:

  1. Very beautiful, The Fort of St Agustin is a must place to see! Well done post.