Built in 1742 by the Spanish to guard Matanzas Inlet, which was used as a rear entrance to the city of St. Augustine, this National Monument listed on the National Register of Historic Places is one of the most popular places to visit in St. Augustine.
Located on Rattlesnake Island, Matanzas Fort is 50 feet long on each side with a 30-foot high tower. The standard garrison of the fort was an officer in charge, two gunners, and four infantrymen although if necessary more troops could be accommodated. There were six cannons which could all reach the inlet when shot, which was less than half a mile away at the time. There was only one occasion when the cannons were actually fired. This occurred in 1742 as the fort was nearing completion.
Today the fort stands as a monument to the history of St. Augustine. Boaters who travel down the Intracoastal to hang out at the Matanzas Inlet enjoy its splendor as they pass by as well as enjoying fabulous sunsets over the fort.
Free tours of the Matanzas Fort are available daily. For more information on visiting the Matanzas Fort go to Fort Matanzas National Monument(National Park Service website.)