Castillo de San Marcos

September 04, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

St. Augustine FloridaSt. Augustine Florida Castillo de San Marcos

Castillo de San Marcos is the United States oldest masonry fort. It is an example of the "bastion system" of fortification.  The "bastion system" was developed the first quarter of the 16th century in northern Italy and it was the dominant fortress design for 300 years.  The design used angled bastions that provided no dead ground where an attacker could hide. The arrowhead shaped bastions would allow the cannon to fire along the faces of the adjacent bastions.  The fort has four bastions named San Pedro, San Agustín, San Carlos and San Pablo

 The stone used in Castillo de San Marcos was a porous conglomerate mixture coquina that has microscopic air pockets.  The conglomerate mixture lets cannon balls fired burrow their way into the rock and stick there.  It was the only fort that was never taken by force.  It took a treaty with the British after the French and Indian war.   The fort was given back to Spain after the American Revolution.

St. Augustine FloridaSt. Augustine Florida The old fort in St. Augustine was originally armed with an array of 6 and 18-pound cannon and mortar.  The 6 pounder had a range of about 1,000 yards the 18 pounder had a range of about 1,600 hundred yards.  The strongest armament was on the waterfront; lighter guns were on the land sector, which was naturally protected by the difficult terrain.  The often projectile used were solid shot, hot-shot, bombs, grape, and canister Although any kind of projectile could be used. A furnace outside the fort to heat the shot.  The forts cannon was an assortment of both iron and bronze.  The bronze cannons were very ornate.

If you are a history buff Castillo de San Marcos is a must see.  Permanent residents and U.S. citizens age 62 or over can get a Senior Lifetime Pass for only $10.  This gives you free admission to National Parks and a discount to some amenity fees for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launch, and specialized interpretive services.  This pass usually gets a carload of people in.  It is a great bargain.  For more information about the Senior Lifetime Pass go to http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm

For more pictures go to http://www.bmwphotography.com/p607389465

 


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