(America Records Institute - AMRI) Top Ancient and Modern Wonders of the Americas - P59 - Fort Castillo de San Marcos: The most magnificent coquina "Forbidden City" in America


(worldkings.org) The Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States; it is located on the western shore of Matanzas Bay in the city of St. Augustine, Florida.

Standing sentinel over the historic city of St. Augustine, Florida, Castillo de San Marcos is a testament to Spanish colonial power and enduring engineering. Built primarily from coquina, a naturally occurring coquina rock, this 17th-century fort is the oldest masonry military structure in the continental United States.



Construction began in 1672 as a response to growing threats from pirates and rival European powers. The unique coquina offered both structural strength and a readily available resource. Its distinctive appearance, with its warm tones and uneven texture, added a touch of majesty to the imposing fortress.



The Castillo de San Marcos weathered numerous battles throughout its history. Its thick walls, reinforced by strategically placed watchtowers and gun placements, repelled enemy attacks.  Despite facing bombardment and siege warfare, the fort remained largely unscathed, earning it the nickname "America's Gibraltar."

Beyond its military significance,  Castillo de San Marcos served as a symbol of Spanish control in Florida.  Within its walls, soldiers lived, families resided, and religious ceremonies were held.  The changing occupants and uses offer a glimpse into daily life  during the Spanish colonial era.



Today, Castillo de San Marcos stands as a living museum, meticulously restored to its former glory.  Visitors can explore the fort's ramparts, peer through cannons aimed at the distant horizon, and imagine the lives of those who once called it home.  This architectural marvel serves as a reminder of Florida's rich history and the innovative building techniques employed during a bygone era. As a testament to human ingenuity and resilience,  Castillo de San Marcos will continue to captivate visitors for generations to come.

According to en.wikipedia.org; gemini. 

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