Castillo de San Marcos Facts

Castillo de San Marcos Facts
Castillo de San Marcos is a fort located on Matanzas Bay's western shore, in St. Augustine, Florida. It is the oldest masonry fort in the U.S. mainland, built beginning in 1672. It was designed by Ignacio Daza, a Spanish engineer, by order of the governor after a raid in 1668. In 1763 the British gained control and renamed it Fort St. Mark. It was returned to Spain in 1783 but in 1821 it was ceded to the U.S. under the Adams-Onis Treaty and renamed Fort Marion. The original name of the fort Castillo de San Marcos was restored only in 1942 as an Act of Congress.
Interesting Castillo de San Marcos Facts:
Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort on the mainland United States. Castillo San Felipe del Morro in Puerto Rico is older than Castillo de San Marcos.
Castillo de San Marcos was constructed between 1672 and 1695. The Spanish built the fort to provide protection for the first European settlement in the U.S. as part of Spain's New World Empire.
The stone used to build Castillo de San Marcos is made up of ancient shells that bonded over time to create a stone.
When the U.S. gained control of Castillo de San Marcos they renamed it Fort Marion to honor the 'Swamp Fox', a Revolutionary hero named General Francis Marion.
In the 1800s Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marcos) was used to hold several Seminole Native Americans and followers including Chief Osceola, Uchee Billy, King Philip, and Coacoochee. Several of the prisoners escaped and helped fight the Americans during the war, making it last another 4 years.
During the American Civil War the fort, along with the state of Florida, separated from the United States. The Union forces eventually gained control of the fort.
In 1875 the fort began to be used to hold Native American prisoners from the Indian Wars. Many of the captives died at Fort Marion.
More than 200 deserters of the Spanish-American War were held at the fort in 1898.
In 1900 Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marcos) was removed as an active duty fort.
Castillo de San Marcos is a national monument, given this designation in 1924.
Castillo de San Marcos encompasses 2.5 acres of land in the downtown area of St. Augustine, Florida.
In 1933 Castillo de San Marcos was transferred from the United States War Department to the National Park Service.
In 1966 Castillo de San Marcos National Monument was added to the National Register of Historic Places list.
In 1975 Castillo de San Marcos was designated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as an Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
Throughout its history Castillo de San Marcos has been commanded by four different countries (Spanish, British, United States, and the Confederate States of America). Unlike many other forts Castillo de San Marcos was never taken over by military force.
Castillo de San Marcos is open today to the public on every day except Christmas Day. Some people even choose to get married at Castillo de San Marcos.

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