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Military: Colonial Wars

This is an image of Fort Matanzas National Monument

Fort Matanzas National Monument

Throughout its history, Fort Matanzas has been closely intertwined with the city of St. Augustine and the neighboring structure which served as the city's defense for many years, the Castillo de San Marcos. Located fourteen miles north of Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine and the Castillo serve as outstanding reminders of the might of the early Spanish empire in the New World. Select from the buttons above to learn more about the significance of these two destinations.

Fort Matanzas represents a very well-preserved masonry fort built by the Spanish from 1740 to 1742. By providing a perch to observe enemy vessels approaching St. Augustine from the south, the fort played a strategic role in warning local settlements of potential enemy advancements via the Matanzas River.

In 1565, almost 200 years before construction began on the fort, the Spanish massacred a large French force within what is now the national monument area. This gruesome confrontation began 235 years of Spanish control in Florida. Appropriately named, the Spanish meaning of "Matanzas" is massacre.

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Last Modified: Tues, May 22 2001 08:47:54 am EDT

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