Thursday, March 14, 2013

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument - St Augustine, Florida

During busy times there are reenactors who talk about the history of the fort and times

St Augustine is a great city to explore in northeast Florida.  It is the oldest continuously occupied European established settlement and port in the continental United States.  Take the trolley tour to see many of the areas of interest without having to drive and park - or explore on your own the places that you like.   The fort is a must see while in St Augustine.  There is an admission charge of $7 per adult, kids 15 and under are free.  This is another opportunity to use your National Parks Pass or Golden Access pass if you have them.

Those are some tight sleeping quarters

The Castillo de San Marcos is a masonry star fort (named for it's shape) and made of a stone called coquina.  This stone is made of ancient shells bonded together - similar to limestone.  Construction began in 1672 and possession of the fort changed 6 times.  Four different governments controlled the fort during different periods of history - the Spanish Empire, the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Confederate States of America and the United States of America.

The tours are self guided and include some stair climbing and walking on uneven surfaces.  There is a short movie to watch and different rooms with displays to view.  It is hard to imagine how people lived in these close quarters.  Climb to the top of the wall to see great view of Matanzas Bay and displays of historic cannons.   There is a gift shop and restrooms available - many restaurants are within a few blocks walk of the fort.

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