We had a nice day out yesterday at Castillo de San Marcos, Spain's earliest foothold in the Americas. Under orders from King Philip II, an expedition arrived here in 1565 and quickly annihilated the French at Fort Caroline, just a few miles north.
Then after several years of increasing English control in the American Colonies, the Spanish wisely replaced the wooden fortifications with this impressive fort. Completed in 1695 and the site of British sieges in 1702 and1740, this fort was never breached. Only through treaties has the flag (and name) ever changed at Castillo de San Marcos.
While we were there, volunteers dressed in period clothing did a reinactment ceremony and even shot the cannon and it was the highlight of our visit!
From this aerial photo of the town and inlet, you can see how well Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sited the fort. With Florida's flat topography, the lookouts could easily see any ship coming towards the town.
As an added plus to our day out, the Captain qualified for a Senior Pass for the National Parks. With this, he can visit any National Park for free and bring me too for free! What a great deal.