The Castillo de San Marcos – tour and fort information
The Castillo de San Marcos is a Spanish built fort located in the city of St. Augustine, Florida, United States. It was known as Fort Marion from 1821 until 1942, and Fort St. Mark from 1763 until 1784 while under British control. The city of St. Augustine was founded by the Spanish in 1565. Over the next one hundred years, the city was defended by nine wooden forts. Following the 1668 attack of the English pirate Robert Searle, it was decided by the Queen Regent of Spain, Mariana, that a masonry fortification be constructed to protect the city. In October 1672 construction began on the fort that would become the Castillo de San Marcos. The Castillo is a masonry star fort made of a stone called “coquina”, literally “little shells”, made of ancient shells that have bonded together to form a type of stone similar to limestone. Workers were brought in from Havana, Cuba, to construct the fort. The coquina was quarried from Anastasia Island across the bay from the Castillo, and ferried across to the construction site. Construction lasted twenty-three years, being completed in 1695.
Operating Hours & Seasons:
The Castillo de San Marcos is open to the public from 8:45 AM to 5:15 pm every day of the year except December 25. (The ticket booth closes at 4:45 pm.) The Park grounds are closed from midnight until 5:30 am.
Visitation is lowest from the middle of September through late November.
Visitation is highest June through Labor Day, and quite high on summer and holiday weekends when an average of 3500 people visit the Castillo daily.
School group visitation is quite high February through May. High visitation can also be expected during the December holidays, and March through April.
The Castillo de San Marcos is considered to be a “walk-in” park. The entrance fee applies to each individual.
Adults (Age 16 and above) entrance is $6.00 – valid for 7 days.
Children (age 15 and under) are admitted free of charge but must be accompanied by an adult.
The Golden Access and Age Passports; the Castillo Annual Pass; and the Interagency Access, Annual, and Senior Passes are honored for free admission in accordance with the terms specified on the card.