St. Augustine, Florida holds a rich history. Some of the most monumental occurrences took place in Castillo de San Marcos, a beautiful fort that served a huge role in preserving the city. Take a look at some of the most important facts about the fort, and soon you’ll be planning your trip to take a visit. Or, use our free Vacation Guide to discover so many more things to do while visiting St. Augustine, Florida.
A Few Facts About Castillo de San Marcos
1 – The castle is the oldest masonry fort in the United States.
It’s made out of a substance called Coquina, which is a rare version of limestone. It’s also built using the Bastian System, which is a star-shaped design meant to reduce the impact of cannon balls while making it easy to mount the cannons from within. The combination of these two features helped to keep this Spanish fort standing today. It’s truly one of the best things to see in St. Augustine!
2 – Many of the cannons are bronze, which is better for enduring the weather of St. Augustine, Florida.
While others primarily adopted the iron cannon, the bronze cannon worked well for this fort for a few reasons. Bronze doesn’t rust in damp environments, such as the salty air from the shores of St. Augustine, Florida. It also withstands the stress of firing better, giving it double the life expectancy of an iron cannon. But, even then, the bronze could be melted down to create new weapons. However, many of the cannons showcase beautiful, intricate details, so it would have been a shame to have melted away such a masterpiece!
3 – Only two seiges took place here: The 1702 Seige and the 1740 Seige
The 1702 Seige was fueled by World War 1. The Spanish in St. Augustine were seen as a major threat to the colonies who remained loyal to countries within the Grand Alliance (England, Austria, Brandenburg-Prussia, the Netherlands, many German States, and Portugal). So, with nearby Charles Town (now known as Charleston, South Carolina) only a week’s sail away, the first attack on the fort to protect their colony. After two months of fighting, however, the Spanish were victorious, despite the tremendous damage done to the city.
In the 1740 Seige, St. Augustine was still recovering from the first seige and was in great need of supplies. Hoping to exploit this one weakness, the British attacked. While this lasted for a month, once again, the castle came out strong and maintained Spanish control.
After exploring Castillo de San Marcos, rest in the Coquina Suite, which offers one of the best views of the historic city. You can take in the cobblestone streets while sitting in a cozy loveseat, then retreat to the king-size bed to get a full, rejuvenating night’s sleep. If you want to stay in walking distance to the best of the city, join us here at Victorian House Bed and Breakfast for your next visit.