Florida >> St Augustine >> Castillo De San Marcos

Castillo De San Marcos

Castillo De San Marcos is the center of St. Augustine. Built by the Spanish in 1672 to defend the city, the fort has seen hundreds of years of battles between many enemies.

Today it is a National Monument that takes you back to a time of iron cannons, wooden ships and battles between empires.

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Castillo De San Marcos Green

The center of Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine.

The fort was held by the Spanish until 1763 and then by the British from 1763 until 1783. The United States acquired Florida in 1819 and renamed the fort to Fort Marion. The fort then served as a military prison holding Native Americans from 1835 to 1842 during the Second Seminole War. Then during the civil war Fort Marion held Confederate Soldiers.

Visiting Castillo De San Marcos

Castillo De San Marcos is big, it covers an area of about 20 acres. To see the Fort will take you about two hours but you could spend all day. Admission is $6 for adults 16 and older and your ticket is good for 7 days. Children 15 and under are admitted free.

Castillo de San Marcos Entrance

The entrance to the Fort in St Augustine

Exploring the Fort

During our visit the Inside Florida team spent most our time exploring the Fort. Walking around the outside of the fort is impressive. The walls are 33 feet high and 12 feet thick. 
The walls of the fort were designed to stand up to cannon fire and did so in many battles.

To get in Castillo De San Marcos you have to cross a draw bridge that takes you over the moat. The entrance alone is impressive in its detail.

Walking around the top of the fort gives you a 360 degree view of the bay and the city of St. Augustine. The fort sits right on Mantanzas Bay with a clear view of the St Augustine Inlet. Cannons of different sizes and types line the top of the fort facing in every direction.

The middle of the fort is a large open grassy area called the Green. The Green is a great place to relax, have a picnic lunch, and let the kids stretch their legs.


Ranger Programs

US Park Rangers are on duty at Castillo De San Marcos managing all aspects of the park. They also offer guided tours where they describe the history of the fort.


There almost always people dressed in costumes re-enacting the history of the fort and giving talks about the life of the colonists who lived there. There are also demonstrations with historical weapons.

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