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I think they forgot to teach me that in history class

I knew that the Spanish were in Florida ferreting around the jungle searching for the fountain of youth.
Castillo de San Marcos But, I think they kinda forgot to mention a few things….

Castillo de San Marcos

Like the Castillo de San Marcos.  It’s an amazing little place.  And, you’d never guess that construction was started on it in 1672.  I mean, think about it.  They were making castles in Europe back then and America, too, has it’s very own castle!

Castillo de San Marcos

But while at the fort, you must always remember ‘safety first.’


But in all seriousness, I think they really forgot to mention this bit of American History it in school.  My schooling kinda just started with “In fourteen-hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue” and then went straight onto the pilgrims landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts… and then the civil wars.  It’s almost like they wanted to forget that there were a bunch of Spanish people living in Saint Augustine, Florida during that time.

pressed seashells

But what I found pretty amazing is the materials they used to make this fort.  It’s pressed seashells cut to form giant walls. It’s called coquina.  Little did they realise that coquina is extremely good to use for forts because cannonballs would sink into the fort rather than obliterate the walls!   It practically saved the fort from their enemies and they probably didn’t even know it!   There are only two forts in the world that are built with coquina and they’re only 14 miles apart!

Castillo De San MarcosThis fort wasn’t just in Spanish control – it’s quite interesting, because the fort was back and fourth between control of the Spanish, British and Americans.  And then when it was finally in American control, it was used in the Civil War – so this fort has quite a bit of history.

They still set off cannon balls practically every weekend at the fort if you care to watch or even learn about how to shoot off cannon balls.  I haven’t heard of many places that demonstrate firings like this, but this place does.

I’m pretty lucky that I’m a fan of history because I would have missed this place.  If you have a chance, I’d recommend going!  It’s worth it.

Castillo De San Marcos

You can find more information on the National Parks website.

taraustralis View All

An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!

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