Cannon of Fort Conde
A row of cannon aim out over
the city of Mobile from the top
of the reconstructed French
fortress.
Mobile's Downtown Fort
The growing skyline of Mobile
looms over the partially
reconstructed walls of Fort
Conde.
Fort Conde Historic Site - Mobile, Alabama
Fort Conde Historic Site - Mobile, Alabama
Fort Conde in Mobile, Alabama
The reconstructed walls of Fort Conde remind
visitors of Mobile's rich colonial history.
The French Fort of Mobile Bay
The brick walls and cannon of Fort Conde
were a fixture in the coastal Alabama city of
Mobile for nearly 100 years. Held by French,
British, Spanish and American forces, the old
fort was a center point of history on the Gulf
Coast.

Now partially reconstructed at 150 South
Royal Street, Fort Conde serves as the
official welcome center for the City of Mobile.

Originally a part of French Louisiana, the
Alabama Gulf Coast was a focal point for
colonial exploration and settlement. Mobile,
in fact, was the capital of the French colony
when it was founded at its original site up the
Mobile River in 1702. Its Roman Catholic
parish dates back to 1703.

Disease and flooding caused problems at
the original settlement site, so the town was
moved downstream to its present location in
1711. The capital was moved to Biloxi in
1720, but Mobile remained a vital community
for the French.

The need for permanent fortifications was
evident to leaders in the colony as early wood
and earthen forts rapidly deteriorated in the
warm, humid climate. As a result, work
began on Fort Conde in 1723.

Named after the Prince of Conde, the fort
was a large, bastioned structure built of brick
on a stone foundation and surrounded by a
dry moat and additional earthwork defenses.

The original Fort Conde covered blocks of
Mobile's modern downtown and its cannon
controlled the point where the Mobile River
flowed into Mobile Bay. One of the original
French guns, in fact, can still be seen next to
the reconstructed fort in the front yard of the
historic Conde-Charlotte House.

Fort Conde served not only as an important
defense for Mobile, but also as a base for
French exploration and expansion into much
of the modern state of Alabama. Supplies
and troops for upriver forts such as Fort
Toulouse (near present-day Montgomery)
were dispatched from Fort Conde and it
functioned as the military headquarters for
the region.

Fort Conde remained in the hands of its
French builders until 1763, when it was
turned over to the British along with the rest
of Alabama as part of the agreement that
ended the French and Indian War.

The British renamed the post Fort Charlotte
and maintained a garrison here throughout
the American Revolution. An original cannon
from the British era can be seen across the
walk from the old French gun at the Conde-
Charlotte House.

Mobile prospered as a commercial center
during the British era, but also became a
target of Spain after that country allied itself
with the United States during the American
Revolution.
On February 10, 1780, General Bernardo de
Galvez landed a force of Spanish troops and
American volunteers to begin the
Battle of
Fort Charlotte, one of two significant battles
of the American Revolution fought in
Alabama.

The allied troops laid siege to the fort and for
four weeks battled Fort Charlotte's British
garrison for control not only of the fortress,
but all of Mobile Bay.

The British surrendered on March 14, 1780,
and the Spanish went on to hold the fort until
1813, when it was occupied by U.S. troops
under General James Wilkinson. Congress
authorized the dismantling of the outdated
fort in 1820 and commercial and residential
development spread over its former site.

About one-third of the fort was reconstructed
at 80% scale during the 1970s. Fort Conde
now serves as the official Welcome Center
for the
City of Mobile and visitors can explore
the reconstructed walls and rooms on a daily
basis.


To fort is located at 150 South Royal Street,
Mobile, Alabama. It is free to visit.


To reach Fort Conde from Interstate 10 in
downtown Mobile, take exit 26B (Water
Street/Downtown). Turn left at the first light
onto Government Street and then left again at
the next light onto South Royal Street. THe
fort will be ahead on your right. It is free to
visit.

Please click here to visit the website for the
Museum of Mobile, which oversees the fort.
Interstate 10 at Fort Conde
Old definitely meets new as
I-10 plunges underground in
the middle of Fort Conde's
parade ground.
Reconstructed Ramparts
The reconstructed section of
Fort Conde duplicates about
one-third of the original fort at
80% scale.
Original Fort Conde Cannon
This piece of French artillery
can be seen adjacent to the
reconstructed fort in the front
yard of the historic Conde-
Charlotte House.
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Copyright 2011 & 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.


Last Updated: May 11, 2014
Forts of Mobile Bay, Alabama