• Sunrise over the Fort George River in the Timucuan Preserve.

    Timucuan

    Ecological & Historic Preserve Florida

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  • Fort Caroline Closed on November 2nd

    Fort Caroline National Memorial including Spanish Pond will be closed to the public on Sunday November 2nd, 2014. The visitor center and trails will reopen on Monday the 3rd of November. The Theodore Roosevelt Area and Ribault Column will remain open.

Ribault Monument

Ribault Column as it stands today near Fort Caroline atop St. Johns Bluff.

One part of Fort Caroline National Memorial is the Ribault Monument. Situated atop St. Johns Bluff, the monument provides a commanding view of the St. Johns River. On a clear day, you can see the Atlantic Ocean and Mayport Naval Station five miles to the east, and river activity, wildlife, and marshes below. The monument is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily.

History of the Monument

The Ribault Monument commemorates the 1562 landing of Jean Ribault near the mouth of the St. Johns River. Ribault erected a stone column bearing the coats of arms of his French King Charles IX to claim Florida for France.

During the early 1920s a movement began in the Florida Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution to mark the location of Ribault’s first arrival in the New World. The goal was to highlight the beginnings of European colonization of Florida by Protestants - for the sake of religious freedom - and to remind Americans that this colony was established half a century prior to the Plymouth Colony. In 1924 a piece of land was donated near present-day Mayport for a new column designed by Florida sculptor Charles Adrian Pillars. The U.S. Post Office also released a commemorative stamp of Ribault’s landing, and the U.S. Mint released a coin.

When U.S. Naval Station Mayport was established in 1941, the monument became inaccessible to the public and was moved. Three moves later, in 1958, the monument found its permanent home on St. Johns Bluff, and became part of the new National Park site, Fort Caroline National Memorial.

Directions to Fort Caroline

Back to Visiting Fort Caroline.

Did You Know?

16th century French flag

The flag that flies over Fort Caroline is a sixteenth century French flag with “fleur de lis” heraldic symbols in gold on a blue background. The "fleur de lis" is an unoffical symbol of France. More...