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castleThe Castillo de San Marcos is a Fort built by the Spaniards (see also history of San Augustine), whose construction was decided after an attack in the year 1668 and 1672 has been started. Cuban workers erected the limestone citadel over a period of 23 years. Today, local rangers wear Spanish colonial uniforms to wrap their visitors in a medieval atmosphere. Every half hour a cannon fire takes place with sufficient number of visitors. Additional there are various other demonstrations. In addition, the rangers are happy about the questions of the tourists, they visibly and expertly answer.

Siege of the British

Shortly after completion in 1702, the British under the command of Governor James Moore besieged the fort, starting from the 1670 founded city of Charleston in the British colony of South Carolina. During the two-month siege, 1200 residents of the city, along with 300 soldiers stationed there, lived in the fort. Starting from Havana, a Spanish fleet could end the siege. The British sank their ships so that they could not fall into the Spanish hands. Then they set fire to the city, which burned down to its foundations. By land, the losers fled to Carolina.

Pedro Ruiz de Olano rebuilt 1738 the fort. He reinforced the walls and replaced the wooden ceilings with stone vaulted ceilings, so that heavier cannons could be used in the fort for future defense.

And again siege by the British

1739 was Britain and Spain in the colonial war and the British besieged the fort under the leadership of General James Oglethorpe again. The Spanish Governor Manuel de Montiano headed the defense of the city. Oglethorpe from the new colony of Georgia conquered Fort San Diego, Fort Picolotta and Fort Mose. He fired nonstop at the city and fort, blocking important supply routes at sea, hoping that the governor would give up quickly in this way. However, the Spaniards were able to partially break through the blockades and ultimately resisted the fort the strong bombardment. After 38 days, the British withdrew unrequested things.

When Spain ceded Florida 1763 to the British through the Paris Peace, the fort became British-owned. For this Spain got Havana and Manila.

At the beginning of the American independence movement Saint Augustine was declared by the British capital of East Florida and rebuilt. Now the fort became an important base for military operations in the South of North America, even though it played only a minor role in the Revolutionary War. 1779 declared war on Spain Britain, after which Florida returned to Spain through the Paris Peace of 1783. So 1784 returned the Spanish soldiers to the Castillo.

Spain hands over to Florida

When the Spaniards repossessed the fort, many compatriots had left the country because Florida had become British. There were border issues with the developing United States. The fort regained its original name and was further reinforced to consolidate Spain's presence in the area. Eventually, however, Spain transferred Florida 1821 to the United States.

1861 separated Florida from the United States and the Union forces retreated to a man crew. A short time later, the Confederates took over the fort. All weapons were transferred to other facilities and the fort itself was defenseless.

1862 reclaimed the fort from the Union as they sailed into the bay with the USS Wabash and found the fort and city defenseless. Then they converted the fortress to a prison. Indians and deserters were detained. Around 1900, the Castillo de San Marcos lost its function and 1924 was transformed into a National Monument. Since 1933 it is subordinate to the National Park Service. 1966 made the entry in the National Register of Historic Places. The fort is managed together with Fort Matanzas National Monument.

Statement by Jon Burpee, Castillo de San Marcos


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