Castillo de San Marcos


Castillo de San Marcos



1 Castillo Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32084






View Website

Unique among national parks, the Castillo de San Marcos, a national monument, encompasses nearly 450 years of history and culture. A few years after Menéndez founded St. Augustine in 1565, a wooden fort was built near the site of the present Castillo. Since Spain controlled Florida, officials initially saw no reason to build strong forts there. In the years that followed, however, more British settlements were established along the east coast of North America. Soon British pirates were attacking Spanish towns and ships. In 1586, Sir Francis Drake, an English explorer, captured the fort and burned the small town to the ground. In 1668 pirates attacked the town of St. Augustine and the Spanish colonists were barely able to fight them off. Queen Mariana of Spain, worried about these attacks, ordered a masonary fort built at St. Augustine to defend the small colony and protect the Spanish ships. Significant to Native American heritage is the use of the fort as a prison cell for Osceola before he was moved to Fort Sumter, and as a prison cell for Apache warriors in the late 1800s.