Founding of the Castillo
Saturday, October 5, 2019 | 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Castillo de San Marcos
The National Park Service, in partnership with Florida Living History, will host the annual heritage event of the Founding of the Castillo de San Marcos on Saturday, October 5, 2019, marking the Castillo's founding in October of 1672.
National Park Service staff and volunteers and living history guides will commemorate the 347th anniversary of the founding of the Castillo, with opportunities for visitors to learn more about this undefeated fortress and how it has protected the community for so many years. Reenactments and historical demonstrations will take place within the Castillo from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., followed by a 4:00 p.m. reenactment of the 1672 groundbreaking ceremony.
The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort and the only extant 17th-century fortress in the continental United States. The Spanish began construction on the fort on October 2, 1672. It took 23 years to be built, and it served as the guardian of colonial San Agustín for many years after its completion in 1695.
The Castillo replaced several wooden forts that had fallen to attacks in the early history of St. Augustine. It was built from coquina, a naturally-occurring substance on the northeast Florida coast that is composed of millions of tiny shell fragments and sand bound together with calcite. Coquina is easy to cut when it’s mined and still damp, but dries to form a sturdy building material that can absorb the force of a cannon ball without shattering.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place in 1672, presided over by by General Don Manuel de Cendoya, royal governor and captain-general of Florida, and the royal officials of the presidio of San Agustín.
Admission: Admission to the Castillo de San Marcos is $15.00 for adults 16 years and over and free for children 15 and under.
When: Reenactments and historical demonstrations will take place within the Castillo from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, 2019.
Where: The Castillo de San Marcos is located on the bayfront in historic St. Augustine, at 1 S. Castillo Drive.