European settlement of the United State did not start with Jamestown (1607) or Plymouth Rock (1620). The Spanish created the oldest continuously occupied city of St. Augustine in 1565.
But of course, the Spanish were not the only ones who wanted this garden spot. The French had established a fort further north at Fort Caroline. They attacked the Spanish in St. Augustine and were wiped out in a few weeks. The word Mantazas means slaughter in Spanish.
The Spanish realized how vulnerable they were and built Fort Matanzas on the Matanzas River in 1740-1742 to protect St. Augustine. The fort became a national monument in 1924.
Lenny and I visited Fort Matanzas National Monument located 15 miles south of St. Augustine. We took a ferry (all of five minutes) to explore the fort. You could go up to the top with a well-secured ladder. Here I am going down.
The Fort is intimately connected with Castillo de San Marcos, a major fort in the center of St. Augustine. More about this national monument in my next post.