The Oldest City in America
Founding of the Old City
The city of St. Augustine was founded on August 28th, 1565, making it the oldest city in the United States of America. It was founded by Pedro Menendez de Aviles, a Conquistador from Spain. It was named for the Feast Day on which is was founded, the Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo. The Spanish retained control of the city until 1763, where under the Treaty of Paris they relinquished control of Florida to the British after the French and Indian War. The British intended to use the fort as a port for trade, but had to repopulate it after all the Spaniards fled the town.
They then regained control from 1783 to 1821 when Andrew Jackson came down to Florida and essentially claimed it as a U.S. territory. St. Augustine is now a historical landmark, and an awesome place to visit.
The Castillo de San Marcos
Perhaps the most important and truly 'awesome' feature of St. Augustine, the Castillo de San Marcos sits at the front of the waterway which leads into St. Augustine. It consists of 20 acres of area, and is the oldest fort in America. The fort took 23 years to build, which is understandable due to its large size. The fort never lost a battle in the 300 years of its existence. This type of fort is a perfect example of the bastion system which the Spanish employed as they colonized the new world. Over the years, it has been used as a fort, a prison for Indians, a base of operations for Confederate soldiers and then Union soldiers, and now is a reminder of the great history of our nation.
Now a protected national monument, official tours can be taken of the fort. One can see cannons mounted on the fort, the gun powder room, soldier's quarters, and a great view of the Anastasia State Park and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.