Castillo de San Marcos.
Happy Friday educational travelers!
I hope you enjoy reading today’s educational blog post.
Beautiful and historic Saint Augustine, Florida is the oldest continuously occupied European established settlement in the continental United States. It is also the home of the Castillo de San Marcos, a 333 year old military fortress built to defend Spain’s claims in the New World. Students on an educational tour to Saint Augustine can explore the National Monument every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. At the Castillo is a large interior courtyard as well as gun deck. Cannon firings and weapons demonstrations are part of admission price as well as exploration of the many rooms within the fortress. These rooms once held soldiers and prisoners alike.
The Castillo itself took 23 years to build and was built with coquina. Coquina, which derives from the Spanish words “cockle” and “shellfish” is a sedimentary rock which is nearly impenetrable and also fire resistant. Middle School tours to Saint Augustine can experience closely what it was like to be a prisoner or soldier within the walls of the fort, and learn about the various (and unsuccessful) attacks on the Castillo. Amazing to think that cannon balls were able to bounce off the fort during many different attacks, not to mention being resistant to fire! Ranger led tours also offer an in depth history of the Spanish fort, which was preserved and declared a National Monument in 1924 by President Calvin Coolidge.
America’s history may have been very different if British Forces had been able to take over the Castillo de San Marcos. The fortress is situated on 20.5 acres and offers a rich glimpse into St. Augustine’s history within Florida proving to be the ideal educational tour destination.
Until next time,