Castillo de San Marcos National
1 South Castillo Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32084
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
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
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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