A Look at Castillo de San Marcos

The historic Castillo de San Marcos in Saint Augustine, Florida is a fascinating stop for anyone who wants to learn about early American history. 

Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest protected National Monument in the United States, within the oldest remaining settlement in the United States in Saint Augustine, Florida. So it is safe to say that this would be a worthwhile trip for any amateur (or professional) historian. Castillo de San Marcos is a fort that was built by the Spanish to protect its claim in Florida from potential invaders such as the British. Construction on the fort began over 100 years before the inception of the United States, in the year 1672.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was then tested shortly after in 1702 when British forces invaded the settlement of Saint Augustine, but could not get through Castillo de San Marcos. The complex layout of the fort allowed for many Spaniards to be saved and eventually would bounce back and reclaim Saint Augustine as a result of the fort.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In 1763, Florida would become a British colony forever due to the signing of The Treaty of Paris between the British and the Spanish. The British would then use the existing fort as a prison for hostages and prisoners of war during the Revolutionary War. In fact, several eventual signers of the Declaration of Independence would visit Castillo de San Marcos at one point. What is so fascinating about Castillo de San Marcos is that it is almost entirely intact from its original construction. This allows visitors to have a full understanding of the different parts of the fort and what each feature was in place for. The U.S National Park Service is in control of the fort and has designated it as a National Monument. As a result, there is a great infrastructure in place to learn about the fort, with daily cannon firings and reenactments common to help understand how the fort operated from a logistical perspective. 

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