Thursday, June 19, 2008
St. Augustine, Florida - Part Five
This is a view of the artillery platform at Fort Matanzas near St. Augustine.
This unique old fort was built during the 1740s and is now a national monument. Visitors who take the boat out to the fort are able to spend about an hour touring the structure. This is plenty of time because the fort is only about 50 by 50 feet.
Fort Matanzas was built quickly and, unfortunately, using a faulty plan. The weight of the structure produces too much strain for its design and by the 1800s it had severely cracked. It was restored when it became a national park, but the work of keeping it standing is constant.
According to an interpreter at the fort, the structure was considered so worthless at the time Florida was ceded from Spain to the United States that it was valued at only 1 cent. It is certainly worth far more than that today. The land itself is worth millions and the fort is a priceless historical treasure.
To read more about Fort Matanzas and other sites around St. Augustine, please visit http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ and look for the St. Augustine heading.