• Castillo de San Marcos

    Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest stone fortress in the United States. Built in 1672, its name changed three times over the centuries.


    Fun Facts

    • Castillo de San Marcos was built to protect the city of St. Augustine, Florida, which was part of the Spanish Empire at the time.
    • St. Augustine was founded in 1565 on the site of a previous Native American settlement, Seloy. The settlement built nine wooden forts for protection after Sir Francis Drake and his fleet of 22 ships attacked the city in 1586.
    • In 1668, English privateer Robert Searles burned the fort and the city to the ground. The governor of St. Augustine ordered a stone fortress be built, one which couldn’t be burned.
    • Castillo de San Marcos is made of coquina stone. The fort sits on the coast, outside the city.
    • In 1763, the English gained control of Florida and the fort, promptly renaming it “Fort St. Mark.”
    • In 1783, the Spanish regained control and changed the name back to Castillo de San Marcos.
    • In 1819, the United States received the fort and named it “Fort Marion.”
    • Finally in 1924, the fort was made a National Monument and its original name was restored again. After more than 250 years of military service, the fort was closed.



    1. Privateer: a privately owned, armed ship/captain hired by a government to capture enemy property, especially during war
    2. Coquina: a rock made of very old shells hardened in limeston


    Questions and Answers

    Question: Who built the fort?

    Answer: The Spanish engineer Ignacio Daza built the fort, but native people, many of whom were slaves, did most of the work.


    Learn More

    See images of the fort.


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Declan, Tobin. " Castillo de San Marcos History and Facts ." American History for Kids, Aug 2022. Web. 02 Aug 2022. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/castillo-de-san-marcos/ >.

APA Style Citation

Tobin, Declan. (2022). Castillo de San Marcos History and Facts. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/castillo-de-san-marcos/

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