Castillo De San Marcos975 Votes Currently Open [Closes at 05:15 pm]
- 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 Museums, Castle, Historical Site, Family And Kids, Architecture
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 Travel Tips
- 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.
Entrance Ticket Details For Castillo De San Marcos
- 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.
- Cruisers Grill: American
- Al’s Pizza: Italian
- Mill top Tavern: American
- The Bar With No Name: American
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78.19% of people who visit St Augustine include Castillo De San Marcos in their plan
2 PM - 3 PM
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
81.29% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Castillo De San Marcos
Castillo De San Marcos Reviews & Ratings
This is an interesting stop. It’s pretty cool seeing someplace this old. The grounds are in great shape and there’s lots of history lessons to be had. The views from up top are good. The staff was really helpful. Worth the time to spend a couple of hours to learn about some early American / European history.
This fort was a stop while exploring historic St. Augustine. We gained free admittance with a senior national parks pass. Learned about this on the Old Town Trolley tour. The fort was well worth the stop. Informative displays and breathtaking views. Very knowledgeable staff, period demonstrations and nice gift shop. Some stairs to see views but lower level easily accessible. A true look back at the history of the fort.
Good little fort with lots of history. Went there with the family and the girls had fun executing the checklist of items (its basically a historical scavenger hunt) needed to become junior park rangers. The park ranger (Shaun) there was great and made it a really fun and interactive (complete with a ceremony to earn their badges and certificate) for my three girls. GREAT views from the top of the fort of the Ocean and city.
Castillo de San Marcos is a bucket list destination for Florida sightseeing. Continuously occupied for centuries, you can step back in time here like few other places in the Western hemisphere. The national park service provides a very good "go at your own pace" experience with multiple exhibits in each of the rooms of the old fort but there are also many demonstrations and speakers at specific times of the day in the main gathering area at the middle of the fort. Parking at the site is limited so plan on parking in the nearby garage and hopping on a convenient trolley. Added bonus is a very nice old town style tourist shopping area across the street.
Lovely relic of preserved history! It's awesome wondering around inside it and the top (lovely view and breeze from the ocean!) pretending you're a British and/or Spanish colonist. I'd suggest doing it along with one of the trolley guided tours, they give you a nice intro to it. At worst, it's a bit of a pricey entry fee, but the outside (for free) is lovely to wonder around. Park rangers and the staff inside were friendly and lively. Definitely must do once to say you've done it!