Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is the country's oldest masonry fort. The fort has survived centuries of struggle between disputing nations. It took more than 400,000 blocks of stone, built by hand to construct the mighty fort.
Another amazing factor about the fort is that it took some 23 years to complete the construction. When visitors enter the fortress, it seems like they have traveled into another period of time. Today, visitors are offered a rare glimpse inside the fort to learn about the history of the17th century Spanish empire.
Visitors can explore the fortress on foot by roaming through the fort's framework and browsing the featured exhibits. The fort features a chapel, guard rooms, a central plaza, three drinking-water wells and a shot furnace. The shot furnace was used to heat cannonballs for firing at enemy ships. Visitors can watch cannon-firing demonstrations, taking place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Castillo de San Marcos is situated on 2.5 acres in downtown St. Augustine, Florida. The best time to visit the fortress is from mid-September through the last part of November. Visitor turn-out is the lowest during those months. Castillo de San Marcos is open to the public year-round from 8:45am - 5:15pm, except December 25th.
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