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Fort Matanzas in St. Augustine

This masonry (coquina) watchtower 14 miles south of the city on Mantanzas Inlet was built by the Spanish in 1740-42 to protect the “back door” to the city.
This national monument also preserves the approximate site of the Spanish “Matanzas” or slaughter of 245 French Huguenots in 1565.

Throughout its history, the story of Fort Matanzas has been closely intertwined with that of the city of St. Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos.
This Spanish outpost fort was built in 1740-1742 to guard the Matanzas Inlet and to warn St. Augustine of British or other enemies approaching from the south. Fort Matanzas now serves as a reminder of the early Spanish empire in the New World.

In addition, the park, which is located on barrier islands along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the Matanzas estuary, provides a natural habitat rich in wildlife with the salt marsh, scrub, and maritime hammock now protecting endangered and threatened species like the historic Fort Matanzas protected St. Augustine long ago.

Fort Matanzas National Monument
Fort Matanzas National Monument



Document Information
Source: Jacksonville CVB,NPS, St. Augustine CVB
Last modified: 20050122
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