The Fort Barrancas Area is on Taylor Road approximately a half mile east from the Museum of Naval Aviation. The area includes the historic Water Battery, Fort Barrancas, trails, visitor center, picnic areas, and the Advanced Redoubt.
Fort Barrancas sits on a bluff overlooking the entrance to Pensacola Bay. The natural advantages of this location have inspired engineers of three nations to build forts. The British built the Royal Navy Redoubt here in 1763 of earth and logs. The Spanish built two forts here around 1797. Bateria de San Antonio was a masonry water battery at the foot of the bluff. Above it was earth and log Fort San Carlos de Barrancas. American engineers remodeled the Water Battery in 1840 and built a masonry fort on the bluff between 1839 and 1844, connected by a tunnel to the Water Battery. This is the current Fort Barrancas. A $1.2 million, eighteen-month restoration project led to its reopening in 1980.
Scheduled tours of Fort Barrancas are every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and at the Advanced Redoubt every Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
Fort Barrancas and the visitor center is open only on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. Please call 850-934-2600 for more information.
Bateria de San Antonio stands today at the base of the barranca, or bluff, just below Fort Barrancas. While retaining some of the Spanish ornamentation, the current structure includes a rifle gallery and rear wall added by U. S. Army engineers. An underground passage connects the Water Battery to Fort Barrancas.
Did You Know?
The Third System fortifications consisted of 42 forts built between 1816 and 1870. They were used to guard all the principal harbors, rivers, and naval yards of the United States. Only the Advanced Redoubt of Fort Barrancas at Gulf Islands National Seashore was built entirely for land defense.