Castillo de San Marcos
Spanish admiral Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles established a permanent Spanish presence at St. Augustine in September of 1565. The stone fortress Castillo de San Marcos was constructed during 1672-1695 as protection from the British Colonies established in nearby Georgia and South Carolina.
Ponce de Leon discovered Florida during his explorations of the New World in 1513. Shortly thereafter, the Spanish made many attempts to colonize this new land but all were unsuccessful. In 1565 King Phillip II was concerned by recent French incursions into Florida and sent an expedition to explore and colonize the area. On 28 August, the feast day of St. Augustine, Spanish admiral Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles arrived off the coast of Florida. Eleven days later Menendez came ashore at a Timucuan Indian village. He fortified it and named the settlement St. Augustine.
Over the next one hundred years Spain made efforts to strengthen the post including the construction of a stone fort, Castillo de San Marcos, which still survives today.