Matanzas National Monument
its history, Fort Matanzas has been closely intertwined with the
city of St. Augustine and the neighboring structure which served
as the city's defense for many years, the Castillo de San Marcos.
Located fourteen miles north of Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine and
the Castillo serve as outstanding reminders of the might of the
early Spanish empire in the New World. Select from the buttons above
to learn more about the significance of these two destinations.
Matanzas represents a very well-preserved masonry fort built by
the Spanish from 1740 to 1742. By providing a perch to observe enemy
vessels approaching St. Augustine from the south, the fort played
a strategic role in warning local settlements of potential enemy
advancements via the Matanzas River.
1565, almost 200 years before construction began on the fort, the
Spanish massacred a large French force within what is now the national
monument area. This gruesome confrontation began 235 years of Spanish
control in Florida. Appropriately named, the Spanish meaning of
"Matanzas" is massacre.