Castillo De San Marcos

Currently Closed
  • Address: 1 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine, FL 32084, United States
  • Timings: 08:45 am - 05:15 pm Details
  • Phone: +1-9048296506
  • Ticket Price: 7 USD
  • Time Required: 00:30 Mins
  • Tags: History Museum, Castle, Historical Site, Family And Kids, Architecture

Castillo De San Marcos - Review

The masons from Havana laboured to produce blocks to construct a monument. They baked oyster shells in kilns to produce a fine white powder called lime which was then mixed with sand and fresh water to produce mortar. After 23 years of hard labour, and sheer determination the Castillo de San Marcos was born.

The Castillo de San Marcos embodies the clash between cultures and grim history as nation after nation tried to make it their own. It echoes the struggles of an earlier time and the walls provide evidence of numerous historic events including the imprisonment of Native American tribes. Plains tribes such as Howling Wolf of the Southern Cheyenne drew while incarcerated. Their art known as Ledger Art are etched on the walls depicting events of valour and personal feats in battle and hunting. Made-up of coquina, a fundamentally indestructible limestone comprised of broken sea shells and coral, the walls of the fortress remained impenetrable through 300 years of enemy shelling and pounding by violent storms.

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Located on the shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, Florida, construction began in 1672. The construction began at the command of Francisco de la Guerra y de la Vega after the destructive raid of the English pirate Robert Searles who assaulted and plundered the settlement. At the same time the threat of English colonization in the north had significantly increased, and Queen Mariana of Spain authorized the construction of a stone fortification.

After 1702, it was decided to change and improve the Castillo and the city of St. Augustine itself. The interior rooms were pulled out into the courtyard to make them deeper and vaulted arch ceilings were constructed to make the rooms bombproof. These vaulted ceilings also served to make it possible for heavy garrison guns to be put all around the perimeter of the gun-deck rather than just in the corner bastions as the Castillo had originally been built.

The Castillo has never been conquered despite attacks by English General James Oglethorpe who fired cannon balls from the tip of Anastasia Island, but it was no match for the unusual consistency of coquina which absorbed the blast rather than crumbling.

After Britain gained control of Florida in 1763 St. Augustine became the capital of British East Florida, and the fort was renamed Fort St. Mark. However in 1783 she went back as a possession of Spain. But by 1821 the fort became a United States Army base and was renamed Fort Marion. In 1942 the original name, Castillo de San Marcos, was restored by an Act of Congress. The fort was declared a National Monument in 1924.

Possession of the fort has changed six times, all peaceful, amongst four different governments: the Spanish Empire, the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Confederate States of America and the United States of America (Spain and the United States having possession two times each).

When it comes to a visit to Castillo Se San Marcos in St. Augustine, you need to be equipped with a lot of knowledge. Tickets for Castillo Se San Marcos open your path to one of the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. They are readily available over the counter, however, if you buy tickets for Castillo Se San Marcos tours, you get to see history through various perspectives. Scroll down to know Castillo Se San Marcos ticket prices and reserve a historical experience for yourself. Castillo Se San Marcos tickets and tours are affordable and offer you the best journey into the past.

Castillo De San Marcos Information

  • The City of St Augustine maintains a parking lot in front of the Castillo. The cost is $1.50 per hour which is paid at automated stations which accept most denominations of U.S. coin and currency as well as credit and debit cards.
  • You can use the city's parking garage which is only a block away from the Castillo. It is conveniently located and will provide shade for your vehicle.
  • Only vehicles 21 feet or shorter, including any trailers, are permitted to park in the Castillo lot.
  • The City of St. Augustine provides free parking for larger vehicles at the corner of West Castillo Drive and Riberia Street.
  • The lot is approximately three blocks from the Castillo and visitors may use the Castillo's lot to drop off and pick up passengers.
  • Please stay together as a group and with your teachers if you visit from school.
  • Visit quietly and be attentive to the tour guide who is dressed in period costume.
  • The influence of the Spanish, French, British and American are all featured in the exhibits.
  • Keep an eye for your children especially up stairs on the gun deck as there are no guard rails.
  • Stay alert as you walk on uneven floors, and do not climb the walls or the cannons.
  • Only water is allowed to be consumed in the Castillo, so secure all food and drinks before entering.
  • Only the lower level of the Castillo is accessible by wheel chair.
  • If you plan on picnicking on the grounds then clean up after you finish.
  • Do not feed the animals.
  • If you feel dehydrated with the heat, contact a Ranger.

Castillo De San Marcos Ticket Prices

  • Above the age of 16 charged $ 7.
  • Children (age 15 and under) are admitted free of charge but must be accompanied by an adult.
  • The Golden Access and Age Passports, the Castillo Annual Pass, and the Interagency Access, Annual, Military, and Senior Passes are honoured for free admission in accordance with the terms specified on the card.

Restaurants Near Castillo De San Marcos

  • Cruisers Grill: American
  • Al’s Pizza: Italian
  • Mill top Tavern: American
  • The Bar With No Name: American

Love this? Explore the entire list of things to do in St Augustine before you plan your trip.

Fancy a good night's sleep after a tiring day? Check out where to stay in St Augustine and book an accommodation of your choice.

TripHobo Highlights for Castillo De San Marcos

  • Castillo De San Marcos Address: 1 S Castillo Dr, St Augustine, FL 32084, United States
  • Castillo De San Marcos Contact Number: +1-9048296506
  • Castillo De San Marcos Timing: 08:45 am - 05:15 pm
  • Castillo De San Marcos Price: 7 USD
  • Best time to visit Castillo De San Marcos(preferred time): 10:00 am - 04:00 pm
  • Time required to visit Castillo De San Marcos: 00:30 Mins
  • Try the best online travel planner to plan your travel itinerary!
Are you associated with this business? Get in Touch

Things to Know Before Visiting Castillo De San Marcos

  • 95% of people who visit St Augustine include Castillo De San Marcos in their plan

  • 40.82% of people start their Castillo De San Marcos visit around 2 PM - 3 PM

  • People usually take around 30 Minutes to see Castillo De San Marcos

Monday, Thursday and Saturday

81.29% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Castillo De San Marcos

People normally club together St Augustine Lighthouse And Museum and San Sebastian Winery while planning their visit to Castillo De San Marcos.

* The facts given above are based on traveler data on TripHobo and might vary from the actual figures

Castillo De San Marcos Trips

Castillo De San Marcos, St Augustine Reviews

  • This fort represents 345 plus years of history and culture. Over the past three hundred years it has been host to more than 5 countries of occupying armies. It was built by the Spanish using the bastion system. Construction began 1672 and completed in 1756. This fort was the main source of protection for the town of St. Augustine and a military warehouse. Engineer Ignacio Gaza designed the fort. It was built by the Spanish to protect their vast conquests in the Americas.

  • Amazing historical fort finished in 1695. They have done a really nice job preserving this place in its original form, highlighting little features such as graffiti left by the soldiers and prisoners who once occupied the fort. The location is a perfect starting point for exploring St. Augustine and has great views of the bay. The volunteers and rangers really enjoy what they’re doing and are happy to answer all the questions you have. This fort is very old and out in the open. If you come during the summer, shade is only found in the various rooms so pace yourself accordingly. Wheelchairs are able to go in but I didn’t see a way to get them to the top of the fort. Something else to keep in mind if you need a wheelchair or assistance getting around.

  • I was disappointed with this place. The entry price of 15$ is not at all worth it according to me. The fort is really small. There's not much to see except the canon shooting at designated times. If you are visiting this place expecting you will be amazed, then get ready to be disappointed. Just visit this place with no expectations and you might walk out on a little positive note. Having said that, it is very well maintained by the staff. I really appreciate them putting so much effort in maintaining the historical place.

  • Been here twice now. It’s a fun place to come learn about history. The tour guides are fun and engaging on the whole. They clearly are there because they love it which helps provide a great family experience or field trip. The price is great as well. You must stay for the cannon firing, that was a definite historical experience and a visit highlight. My five year old was fairly bored which is why It got a 4, but also that’s to be expected for a five year old

  • This place represents the whole St Augustine city and its history as the oldest city in the U.S.A. There's a whole lot to do and learn here, you should be able to see how many peoples from many empires and countries have taken control of this city to the present day and now part of this great country. As well I would explore here for a while and wait for the cannon event that takes at certain times of the day, it is an interesting thing to see how it was actually done back then. And finally, there's a lot of things in the gift shop despite its small size, so you shouldn't skip it just because of the size of the room.

Read all reviews