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.

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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
  • Castillo De San Marcos is added 7.5K times in the itineraries created by TripHobo users
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  • Plan a Trip to Castillo De San Marcos using our free St Augustine Trip Planner
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Things to Know Before Visiting Castillo De San Marcos

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

  • 33.83% 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

Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday

67.48% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting Castillo De San Marcos

People normally club together San Sebastian Winery and St Augustine Lighthouse And Museum 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

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Castillo De San Marcos, St Augustine Reviews

  • This place is full of history and is a great place to visit if you're a history nut and love to learn! Personally, the older I get, the more fascinating history is to me. I do love to read, but reading about history in school...idk. I had a harder time remembering things like that. But, anytime I'm able to be at a place where history was made or have "hands on" experiences, that's always made history (or anything, for to that matter) so much more interesting, fun, and (for me) easier to learn and remember. Anyways, if you happen to visit St. Augustine, FL, be sure to stop by the Fort! I've been there (to St. Augustine) at least 10-12 times over the past 20+ years and visited The Fort at least half of those times. It seems like every couple (maybe 2-4) years, "they" learn more about the Fort and surrounding areas, which they share with you either verbally &/or by displaying the info inside the Fort. It's so much more interesting than it seems!

  • What a wonderful piece of history. A very well kept and very well maintained National History landmark. The volunteers passionately look over this structure to make sure that it represents the history to the area and to the rest of the United States. It is the oldest continuing settlement ever in the United States by the colonists. And is the oldest national landmark. Before Jamestown before anyone else St Augustine was founded built up and going through it's many phases. The fort has a history of having never fallen even though it survived many battles and traded hands no one ever died during the occupation of the fort by an opposing force. They still have live Cannon firings several times during the period that we were here and the volunteers that reenact the Spanish methods of ritualistic loading and firing a cannon are precise and entertaining. Just don't forget to hold your ears, the cannon fire Echoes off of every land mass in the harbor. While you're there run across the street to the Pirate Museum it is Wonderful! Don't forget to update your parking pass so that you have enough time. Don't forget to click like if the review helps

  • There's really no day passes. You can buy a week pass for $15 but you see the entire fort in like less than an hour so why would anyone come back? I think they just want to over price people. I would not recommend this place.

  • As a native Floridian I still get excited every time I visit the Castillo. There's plenty to do, plenty to see, and plenty to learn. The staff is extremely helpful not only for in-character experiences but also for overarching historical questions. The fort itself is wonderfully kept up, easy to navigate, and has placards throughout to explain the significance of each segment. There are multiple cannon fire reenactments throughout the day - I highly recommend spending the time to watch. The reenactments educational for adults and fun for kids (it's not every day you get to see a cannon fired!). For the price of admission, I find the Castillo absolutely worth it.

  • If you're military or younger than 15, may as well stop by because it's free. There are a few times throughout the day where they fire a cannon over the side and that's the main appeal. Aside from that though there really isn't much. You can go inside most of the rooms and learn a bit from the info boards and that's about it. All the people though were really friendly and seemed adamant about history so they make it a pleasant experience. If you're already in the area check it out, but don't make it your only stop for tourism.

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