๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ CASTILLO SAN MARCOS, St Augustine Florida

The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United Statesand is located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, Florida. The Castillo was designed by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza and construction begn in 1672, 107 years after the city’s founding by Spanish Admiral and conquistador Pedro Menรฉndez de Avilรฉs, when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire.
The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United Statesand is located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, Florida. The Castillo was designed by the Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza and construction begn in 1672, 107 years after the city's founding by Spanish Admiral and conquistador Pedro Menรฉndez de Avilรฉs, when Florida was part of the Spanish Empire.

Castillo de San Marcos was for many years the northernmost outpost of Spain’s vast New World empire. It is the oldest masonry fort and the best-preserved ex-ample of a Spanish colonial fortification in the continental United States. It anchored East Florida’s defenses, which extended northward to the St. Marys River, westward to the St. Johns, and southward to Fort Matanzas. It protected St. Augustine from pirate raids and from Spain’s major rival, Great Britain, during a time when the Florida-Georgia-Carolina coastline was an explosive international battleground.

When Britain gained control of Florida in 1763 pursuant to the Treaty of Paris, St. Augustine became the capital of British East Florida, and the fort was renamed Fort St. Mark[8] until the Peace of Paris (1783) when Florida was transferred back to Spain and the fort's original name restored. In 1819, Spain signed the Adamsโ€“Onรญs Treaty which ceded Florida to the United States in 1821; consequently, the fort was designated a United States Army base and renamed Fort Marion, in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion. The fort was declared a National Monument in 1924, and after 251 years of continuous military possession, was deactivated in 1933. The 20.48-acre (8.29 ha) site was subsequently turned over to the United States National Park Service. In 1942 the original name, Castillo de San Marcos, was restored by an Act of Congress.
The roots of the Castillo’s history reach back to the years just after Christopher Columbus’s final transatlantic voyage, when conquistadors carved out a vast and wealthy overseas empire for Spain, first in the Caribbean and then on the mainlands of Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru. Products of these tropical and mountainous territories brought high prices on the Continent, and Spanish galleons sailed home laden with exotic dyes, sugar, tobacco, chocolate, pearls, hardwoods, and silver and gold. These so-called “treasure fleets” made Spain the most powerful and envied nation in Renaissance Europe.

After attempting unsuccessfully to board the French ships anchored there, Menendez sailed to a harbor farther south and estab-lished St. Augustine as a base for further operations. Almost immediately a French fleet sailed south to attack. But the ships were driven southward and wrecked by a violent storm and the mission failed. Re-alizing that Fort Caroline would be lightly guarded, the Spaniards marched north, captured the fort, and executed most of the inhabitants. The same fate befell survi-vors from the French fleet, whom the Span- iards captured and killed at an inlet 14 miles south of St. Augustine.

Thanks to the travels of Ponce de Leon in 1513, Spanish navigators knew that the best return route from Spain’s rich Caribbean possessions was along the Gulf Stream, through the Bahama Channel, and past the shores of Florida. The Spanish knew they must defend this peninsula to prevent enemies from using its harbors as havens from which to raid the passing treasure fleets.

GULFSTREAM

In 1513 Spain claimed Florida through the expedition of Ponce de Leon, but France gained the first foothold there by establishing Fort Caroline on the St. Johns River in 1564. Seeing this as both a challenge to Spain’s claims and a menace to the treasure fleets, King Philip II sent an expedition under Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles to eliminate the French threat and establish settlements in Florida. It arrived at the mouth of the St. Johns River in September 1565.
After attempting unsuccessfully to board the French ships anchored there, Menendez sailed to a harbor farther south and established St. Augustine as a base for further operations. Almost immediately a French fleet sailed south to attack. But the ships were driven southward and wrecked by a violent storm and the mission failed. Realizing that Fort Caroline would be lightly guarded, the Spaniards marched north, captured the fort, and executed most of the inhabitants.
St AUgustine
The same fate befell survivors from the French fleet, whom the Spaniards captured and killed at an inlet 14 miles south of St. Augustine. The episode gave a name to the area: Matanzas, Spanish for “slaughters.”

England became Spain's next contender for Florida.
England became Spain’s next contender for Florida. The Spanish had watched the English warily ever since Sir Francis Drake attacked and burned St. Augustine in 1586. They became even more watchful after English-men settled Jamestown in 1607. British pirates sacked St. Augustine again in 1668, and this hit-and-run attack, followed by the English settlement of Charleston in 1670, caused Spain to build the Castillo de San Marcos.

The Spanish had watched the English warily ever since Sir Francis Drake attacked and burned St. Augustine in 1586. They became even more watchful after English-men settled Jamestown in 1607. British pirates sacked St. Augustine again in 1668, and this hit-and-run attack, followed by the English settlement of Charleston in 1670, caused Spain to build the Castillo de San Marcos.

Castillo de San Marcos spy chart by british

Begun in 1672 and completed by 1695, the Castillo replaced nine successive wooden fortifications that had protected St. Augustine since its founding. The fort’s commanding location on the west bank of Matanzas Bay allowed its guns to protect not only the harbor entrance but the ground to the north against a land attack.

Old Map
The Castillo’s baptism of fire came in 1702 during the War of the Spanish Succession, when the English occupied St. Augustine and unsuccessfully besieged the fort for 50 days. The English burned the town before they left, but the Castillo emerged unscathed, thereby making it a symbolic link between the old St. Augustine of 1565 and the new city that rose from the ashes.

Canons at the Castillo San Marcos

When Britain gained control of Florida in 1763 pursuant to the Treaty of Paris, St. Augustine became the capital of British East Florida, and the fort was renamed Fort St. Mark[8] until the Peace of Paris (1783) when Florida was transferred back to Spain and the fort’s original name restored. In 1819, Spain signed the Adamsโ€“Onรญs Treaty which ceded Florida to the United States in 1821; consequently, the fort was designated a United States Army base and renamed Fort Marion, in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion. The fort was declared a National Monument in 1924, and after 251 years of continuous military possession, was deactivated in 1933. The 20.48-acre (8.29 ha) site was subsequently turned over to the United States National Park Service. In 1942 the original name, Castillo de San Marcos, was restored by an Act of Congress.

The Spanish route

Castillo SAN MARCOS Timeline

  • 1513 Sailing from Puerto Rico, Spanish claim Florida.
  • 1565 Spanish found St. Augustine and destroy French at Fort Caroline and Matanzas Inlet.
  • 1672 Ground is broken on October 2 for Castillo de San Marcos.
  • 1695 Castillo de San Marcos (curtain walls, bastions, living quarters, moat, ravelin, and sea-wall) is finished in August.
  • 1702 War of the Spanish Succession pits Spain and France against Austria, Great Britain, and others.  Coastal  Georgia missions are destroyed by Carolinians en route to St. Augustine.  Carolinians occupy and burn St. Augustine but the Castillo successfully resists their siege.
  • 1738 Spanish governor at St. Augustine grants freedom to runaway British slaves. Black families settle at new town called Fort Mose.
  • 1740 St. Augustine successfully endures siege by British, Georgian, and South Carolinian forces. Spanish attack and de-feat British Highland troops camped at Fort Mose.
  • 1740-42 Fort Matanzas is built to block southern approach to St. Augustine.
  • 1756-62 Fort Mose re-built in masonry. Earth-works at Mose extended to complete northern-most defense.
  • 1763 Peace of Paris gives Florida to Great Britain in exchange for La Habana.  Castillo becomes known as Fort St. Mark.
  • 1783 Peace of Paris recognizes independence of the United States and returns Florida to Spain.
  • 1821 Spain cedes Florida to the United States.
  • 1825 Castillo de San Marcos renamed Fort Marion.
  • 1924 Fort Marion and Fort Matanzas are proclaimed national monuments
  • 1933 Transferred to the National Parks Service
  • 1942 Original name Castillo San Marcos is restored

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