Castillo de San Marcos
The Castillo didn’t always look this way, at least not at this height. When the old Spanish fort was first built (1672 – 1695) the walls rose 26 feet. Throughout the 1700s they were built up to 33 feet, their current height. So if you were a British attacker during the siege of 1702, your view would have been a little different than, say, a British attacker in 1740. (Yes, the British sallied forth to St. Augustine quite often, and rarely with good intentions). This particular view shows the south terreplein (right) and St. Peter’s Bastion (Baluarte de San Pedro) at left. Note the lone cannon peeking through the embrasure, as well as the shadow of the second drawbridge.
Fountain of Youth
One of the most fascinating features of the Fountain of Youth Park is the reconstructed Timucua village, which really gives an idea of how the Native people lived long before the Spanish arrived (for better or for worse . . .). This small hut showcases colorful markings, a religious figure at bottom center, a pit with conch shells, and various other interesting details. When you duck inside these structures you can smell the damp thatch. It’s quite an experience. If you love St. Augustine’s history you can’t miss these interactive displays, as they place you right in the past.
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