A St Augustine monument not only of stone and mortar but of human determination and endurance, the Castillo de San Marcos symbolizes the clash between cultures which ultimately resulted in our uniquely unified nation. Still resonant with the struggles of an earlier time, these original walls provide tangible evidence of America’s grim but remarkable history.
Though its construction started in 1672 the Castillo de San Marcos’ history embodies the struggle and contest of the entire colonial era as well as the foundations of American identity.
Architecture & Construction
The Monument site consists of 20.5 acres and includes a reconstructed section of the walled defense line surrounding the city of St. Augustine incorporating the original city gates. The Castillo de San Marcos’ architecture and detail are distinctive and unique. It is the oldest masonry and only extant 17th century fort in North America. As such it is an excellent example of the “bastion system” of fortification.
Arms & Armament
The 16th century colonization of American paralleled the development of new weaponry. This technology centered on black powder (gunpowder) based systems. The cannon, first made of iron, later of bronze, became the weapon of political power projection and along with small arms of various types began to dominate the battlefields of both Europe and the New World.
How We Tell Our Story…
… we re-live it. The Castillo comes alive through a diverse range of programs which include Ranger talks, museum exhibits, historical weapons demonstrations, living history reenactments, and special events. Don’t miss your best chance to see history in action. No time machine necessary.
Operating Hours & Seasons
The Castillo de San Marcos is open to the public from 8:45 AM to 5:15 pm every day of the year except December 25. (The ticket booth closes at 4:45 pm.) The Park grounds are closed from midnight until 5:30 am.
Visitation is lowest from the middle of September through late November.
Step back in time at this re-creation of the Change of Flags ceremony that formally transferred Florida from Spanish to English rule at the end of the French and Indian Wars. Re-enactors dressed in both British and Spanish uniforms of the period will recreate the formal ceremony. Presentations and demonstrations of period military equipment and arms, and the 18th century soldier’s experience will be involved.
Location: Castillo de San Marcos
Directions: Located on St. Augustine Bayfront
Hours: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Admission: $7 for adults and free to children 15 and under. If you have a National Parks pass, you and three other guests will get into the Fort for free.