Photo by Mike M.
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- From the National Park Service
Since its founding in 1565, the military outpost town of St. Augustine had been the heart of Spain's coastal defenses in Florida. After the completion of the Castillo de San Marcos in 1695, the town had only one weakness: fourteen miles to the south Matanzas Inlet allowed access to the Matanzas River, by which enemy vessels could attack the town from the rear - out of range of the Castillo's cannons. The presence of Ft. Matanzas physically demonstrates the determination of the Spanish colonial authorities to improve their defensive posture in northeast Florida.
Completed in 1742, the fortification was erected on the West Bank of the Matanzas River, immediately north of an inlet from the ocean, in order to prohibit enemy ships from proceeding northward along the river in an attack against the settlement at St. Augustine. Cannons mounted on the gun deck of the fort could easily menace any ship proceeding along the waterway.
- From the National Scenic Byways Program
National Park Service, Ft. Matanzas
National Scenic Byways Program