History & Culture
The Stories of Matanzas
and St. Augustine
Throughout its history, the stories of Fort Matanzas and the Matanzas area have been closely intertwined with that of the city of St. Augustine.
Located fifteen miles north of Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos serve as outstanding reminders of the might of the early Spanish empire and as reflections of European conflicts as countries battled for land and power in the New World.
National Geographic Photograph
The first conflict goes back to 1565, the year of the founding of St. Augustine and almost 175 years before the construction of Fort Matanzas. This is when another story was played out at the Matanzas Inlet--the massacre of the French Huguenots, the incident that led to the naming of the river, Matanzas, the Spanish word for "slaughters".
The British Threat
Did You Know?
Ft Matanzas is built with the unique limestone, "coquina". Made of many tiny shell fragments and sand lightly bound together with calcite, it has survived cannon balls and hurricanes but is very fragile to human contact. Ft Matanzas National Monument, Florida