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Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument - BEST Places to Picnic

1 South Castillo Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32084

Visitor Information
(904) 829-6506

Explore Where America Begins

A monument not only of stone and mortar but of human determination and endurance, the Castillo de San Marcos symbolizes the clash between cultures which ultimately resulted in our uniquely unified nation. Still resonant with the struggles of an earlier time, these original walls provide tangible evidence of America�s grim but remarkable history.


Though its construction started in 1672 the Castillo de San Marcos� history embodies the struggle and contest of the entire colonial era as well as the foundations of American identity.

Architecture & Construction

The Monument site consists of 20.5 acres and includes a reconstructed section of the walled defense line surrounding the city of St. Augustine incorporating the original city gates. The Castillo de San Marcos' architecture and detail are distinctive and unique. It is the oldest masonry and only extant 17th century fort in North America. As such it is an excellent example of the "bastion system" of fortification.

Arms & Armament

The 16th century colonization of American paralleled the development of new weaponry. This technology centered on black powder (gunpowder) based systems. The cannon, first made of iron, later of bronze, became the weapon of political power projection and along with small arms of various types began to dominate the battlefields of both Europe and the New World.

Battles & Sieges

The 300 years of the colonial era (c. 1500-1800) were ones of constant warfare. As European countries vied with each other for the economic wealth in the �New Worlds� they increasingly came into military conflict as well. Encounters starting in Europe, Africa, Asia or the Americas quickly escalated into international global warfare. The Castillo de San Marcos, though a remote outpost, weathered many attacks during these almost incessant colonial wars.

Did You Know?
The Castillo de San Marcos was used for military purposes during WWII. The Coast Guard utilized the fort for training exercises and ceremonies throughout the war years.

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