Castillo de San Marcos


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The ancient town of St Augustine is America’s oldest City. St Augustine became a Spanish port between the years 1672 and 1695. The town attracted a lot of jealousy from other countries, more particularly the British, who saw the place as a strategic location.

The masonry fort of St Augustine soon earned the reputation of an untouchable fortress due to its solid and stable construction. The fortified site was made up of Coquina, which is a strong sedimentary rock, used to build fortresses and military constructions. The fort officially became known as Castillo de San Marcos in 1672 after having been completely remodelled using the same material; Coquina.

Long before the Castillo was erected, numerous wooden forts were built to defend the town of St Augustine and the construction of the actual fort took 23 long years.

So Many names for One Fort…

The British took control of the fort from 1763 until 1784 and renamed the place Fort St Mark. The fort changed names again and became Fort Marion between 1821 and 1942. His original name “Castillo de San Marcos” was then restored in 1942.

The Legend of Castillo de San Marcos

A passionate love affair between Dolores, the wife of Colonel Garcia Martis and Captain Manuel Abela, who held the position of chief officer of the fort, is at the centre of the legend of the Castillo de San Marcos.

Indeed, after Colonel found out about the affair by apparently smelling his spouse’s perfume on Chief Officer Abela, the sanction was immediate. The secret lovers simply vanished for good from the site. The Colonel explained that his wife had decided to go back home to Mexico, whilst her supposed lover had been sent back to Spain on a new military assignment.

The Lover’s Dungeon

Many years later, people made a very grim discovery. Old bones and ashes were uncovered in a hidden space of the dungeon. Evidently, the remains are said to belong to the lovers, who never left on their own accords but were most probably killed on the order of the Colonel.

Strange phenomenons have since occurred especially down in the dungeon. Numerous visitors have reported feeling a sharp drop in temperature when walking around. The smell of the perfume that allegedly betrayed Dolores has been reported many times floating around the site.

The walls are said to frighten visitors more than any other parts of the building. Long Screams and disembodied voices as well as noises of fighting can be heard through the walls, especially when you stick you ear against them. Visitors claim to get the feeling that you are suddenly sent back to the time when war, pain and deaths were part of the Castillo.

The Mysterious Watch Tower…

How come the light of the tower is often lit as the sun sets, when there is no power supply in this area of the fort? The legend has it that dead soldiers return in order to help and guide their comrades who are sailing in from Spain.

An overwhelming feeling of fear and death definitely linger on at Castillo de San Marcos. Some even claim to have experienced feelings of suffocation. Disembodied voices and orbs have been sighted and even photographed on many occasions too and others have reported feeling an invisible cold hand touching them.

Tours and Visits…

Tours are organized daily and you may even want to tour the fort in the evening. The interior of the Castillo is opened until 5:15pm daily, but the surrounding grounds are open until Midnight for those who really want to know what a haunted fortress can really be like at night. Local area Ghost tours are available that visit this location nightly.

Contact Castillo de San Marcos

Address:
Castillo de San Marcos NM
1 South Castillo Drive
St Augustine, FL 32084
Phone: 1 (904) 829-6506 ext. 227
Website: http://www.nps.gov/casa/index.htm