What is there to do at the park? The park offers a variety of exhibits, living history demonstrations, ranger programs and recreational opportunities. Find things to do at the park.
Is there food and lodging near the Castillo? Restaurants and hotels are located within easy walking distance of the Park. No food or drinks except water are allowed or available inside the park.
Can I hold my wedding or other special event in the park? Weddings and other special events require a special use permit and must follow specific guidelines. Special events can only be held on the exterior grounds of the Park. For more information please call (904) 829-6506 x 254.
When was the Castillo made a national monument? The Castillo, or Fort Marion as it was known at the time, was declared a national monument on October 15, 1924 by President Calvin Coolidge. He signed a proclamation that also included Fort Matanzas, Fort Pulaski, Fort Wood (Statue of Liberty), and Castle Pinckney (Castle Pinckney was returned to the Army Corps of Engineers in 1951 and is no longer a national monument).
FAQs About the Fort
How old is the fort? Construction began on October 2, 1672 so the fort is over 333 years old.
Who built the fort?Why did they build it here? The Castillo was built by the Spanish to protect their interests in La Florida. With the discovery and use of the Gulf Stream by the Spanish Treasure fleets it became important to establish a military outpost to keep rival powers and pirates from threatening Spanish commerce.
How long did it take to build the fort? The Castillo has has two major construction periods, from 1672 to its initial completion in 1695, and again from 1738 to 1756. This final renovation is commemorated by the dedicatory plaque above the sally port entrance to the fort.
What is Coquina? Where does it come from? "Coquina" (Spanish for "tiny shell"), is a soft limestone made up of broken shells and sand cemented together by calcium carbonate, essentially creating a natural form of concrete. The stone for the Castillo was quarried on nearby Anastasia island.
What does “Castillo” mean? Castillo is the Spanish word for "castle." Although no king or queen lived here, the Castillo de San Marcos was like a castle in one way-- it was used to defend a town.