History & Culture
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 gate. 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
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?
Spanish fleets brought the wealth of the New World to Spain in the form of gold, gems, spices, and exotic goods. In the 300 years of the colonial era it is estimated that they carried between 600-800 billion dollars worth of treasure. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Florida