Ribault Column

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

One part of Fort Caroline National Memorial is the Ribault Column. 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 site is open 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

History of the Column

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 (the site is located near Fort Caroline)

Back to Visiting Fort Caroline.


Your Dollars at Work

gate make of chain link fence with brown sign gate make of chain link fence with brown sign

Left image
The old front gate at the Ribault Column,
Credit: NPS

Right image
The gate improvements.
Credit: NPS

Improvements to the gate at the Ribault Column enhanced the beauty and security of the site. 


Last updated: March 28, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

12713 Fort Caroline Road
Jacksonville, FL 32225



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