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Fort Caroline National Memorial, Jacksonville
(4.2/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
Fort Caroline was one of the first French colonies in the present-day United States, located on the banks of the St. Johns River in what is now Jacksonville, Florida. It was established under the leadership of René Goulaine de Laudonnière on June 22, 1564, as a new territorial claim in French Florida and a safe haven for Huguenots. The French settlement came into conflict with the Spanish, who established St. Augustine in September 1565, and Fort Caroline was sacked by Spanish troops under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés on September 20. The Spanish continued to occupy the site as San Mateo until 1569.The original location is unknown. In 1953 the National Park Service established the Fort Caroline National Memorial along the southern bank of the St. John's River near the point that commemorates Laudonnière's first landing. The memorial is now managed as a part of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve although it remains a distinct National Park Service entity.HistoryCharlesfort (1562)A French expedition, organized by Protestant leader Admiral Gaspard de Coligny and led by the French Explorer Jean Ribault, had landed at the site on the May River (now the St. Johns River) in February 1562, here Ribault encountered the Timucuans who were led by Chief Saturiwa. Ribault then travelled to present-day South Carolina and with twenty-eight men built a settlement known as Charlesfort. Ribault then returned to Europe to arrange supplies for the new colony, but was arrested in England due to complications arising from the French Wars of Religion, which prevented his return.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Very beautiful park by the river, watch the boat traffic. Enjoy the historic fort. Plenty of trails and great nature viewing. Lovely and peaceful. 
  • The original Fort Caroline no longer exists but a replica sits near the original site. Rich in history, the Fort Caroline museum tells a wonderful story about the early days of Florida. Several nature...  more »
  • Not too much to see here, but it is pleasant way to spend a half hour with nature. They have a "replica" of the fort, though oddly enough, a disclaimer states that they the location is approximate and...  more »