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Fort Matanzas National Monument Photo Gallery

Fort Matanzas 6 Fort Matanzas 4 Ft. Matanzas 1937 Fort Matanzas from the fort ferry Fort Matanzas Fort Matanzas 3 Fort Matanzas 2
Fort Matanzas National Monument was designated a United States National Monument on October 15, 1924. The monument consists of a 1740 Spanish fort called Fort Matanzas, and about 100 acres (0.4 kmē) of salt marsh and barrier islands along the Matanzas River on the northern Atlantic coast of Florida. It is operated by the National Park Service in conjunction with the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in the city of St. Augustine.

Fort Matanzas was built to guard Matanzas Inlet, the southern mouth of the Matanzas River, which could be used as a rear entrance to the city of St. Augustine. Such an approach avoided St. Augustine's primary defense system centered at Castillo de San Marcos. In 1740, Gov. James Oglethorpe of Georgia used the inlet to blockade St. Augustine and launch a thirty-nine day siege. St. Augustine endured the siege but the Spanish realized the need to protect the inlet. Under Gov. Manuel de Montiano's orders, construction began in 1740 and was completed in 1742. Engineer Pedro Ruiz de Olano, who had worked on additions to the Castillo de San Marcos, designed the fortified observation tower. Convicts, slaves, and troops from Cuba were used as labor to erect the structure, which was sited on present-day Rattlesnake Island and had a commanding position over Matanzas Inlet.
   

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