Sunday, October 2, 2022, marks the 350th anniversary of the 1672 ground-breaking ceremonies for Castillo de San Marcos. Join us at the fort throughout the day to explore the 350 years of Castillo history and its impacts on St. Augustine.
Park rangers and volunteers, St. Augustine Historical Society members, Fort Mose Historical Society and Historic Florida Militia will be providing on-going programs, living history conversations, interactive exhibits, and cannon and musket firing demonstrations.
Events will conclude with a ranger-led program at 4:00 p.m. highlighting Castillo’s 350 years of history and influence on St. Augustine. Castillo entrance will be FREE for all visitors on October 2. Castillo de San Marcos is open 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
On Saturday, October 1, as a lead up to Sunday’s events, Historic Florida Militia will host a History on the Streets Saunter, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Aviles Street, heading north to the grounds of Castillo de San Marcos. Historic Florida Militia members and members of St. Augustine’s Royal Family will be dressed in 17 th century garb in honor of the Castillo’s ground- breaking in 1672.
The saunter is made possible by St. Johns Cultural Council and the Tourist Development Council. Get involved in this commemoration digitally! Follow the Castillo on Facebook (CastilloNPS) and Instagram (castillonps) and tag us in your Castillo photos using #Castillo350.
“Built by the Spanish in St. Augustine to defend Florida and the Atlantic trade route, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument preserves the oldest masonry fortification in the continental United States and interprets more than 450 years of cultural intersections,” notes the National Parks Service.
Built from coquina, a light and porous shell-stone rock, Castillo de San Marcos “symbolizes the clash between cultures which ultimately resulted in our uniquely unified nation,” writes the National Parks Foundation. “Originally a post of the Spanish Empire guarding the settlement of St. Augustine, the Castillo protected the sea route for treasure ships before being transferred from Spanish to British control and back again, all by treaty. Purchased by the United States in 1821, the Castillo—then called Fort Marion—was used by the U.S. army until 1899.”