Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine

The history of Florida begins at Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. Constructed by the Spanish in 1672, over a century after the city's founding by the Spanish conquistadores, the fort came under British control in 1763. Twenty years later, the fort went back to Spanish hands. It was a U.S. army base between 1821 and 1924, when the U.S. government declared it a national monument. The fort became part of a national park after nearly 250 years of military service. The deactivated fort now attracts tourists with its storied history and well-preserved military architecture. Explore the history of this structure by walking among its stone walls, or join a guided walk with one of the park's rangers.  Using our custom trip planner, St. Augustine attractions like Castillo de San Marcos can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Castillo de San Marcos Reviews
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  • Impressive San Marcos casitllo (but in fact is a Spanish Fort). Much historical explanation. A breathtaking view
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  • This is our first visit to St Augustine and one of the better sources for the history of the city. A definite do not miss  more »
  • If you are the type to say something like, "It's just an old fort, what's the big deal?" Definitely go here!!! This is a national park, this means you will have access to top shelf tour guides and wel...  more »
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  • Wow! Simply amazing. Words can't express the overwhelming feeling of awe and wonder this place has to offer - and I'm no history buff. It's a must see - the whole town is interesting, but all we had time for was the fort which took us a couple hours to get through the whole thing. Well worth it. I would recommend parking in the parking structure by the welcome/visitors center rather than the tiny parking lot. It's not too far away.
  • The history of this place is phenomenal! You can feel the age in the walls. We walked around the entire Fortress and got a few from the outside period while inside there was lots of rooms to visit and the view from the top of the fort was breathtaking. It is a good place to take a family and the little history marks all over the fort are really interesting to read. We forgot our national park passport - so make sure you take that along!
  • 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 don't forget to update your parking pass so that you have enough time.
  • What a wonderful experience! This is a beautifully well preserved part of history. The staff members were very helpful and friendly. The views are so lovely and seeing so many faces wanting to learn was wonderful. It wasn’t packed when we went so the freedom to move around was great. The placards to explain what we were seeing was super helpful and informative. The next time we come to St Augustine I will definitely be visiting again!
  • I grew up in Jacksonville Florida and have been to the Castillo de San Marco fort numerous times. I can honestly say that each and every time I learn something new. I love visiting here and they do everything they can to keep everything preserved. Everyone who works at the Fort is ready and willing to give you information and they are happy to do so. Also, military and Veterans with Service connected disabilities get a free annual pass for life to every National Park. I highly recommend checking this place out if you have not been, and revisiting if you already have. It never gets old!
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