Old City Gates and Walls of St. Augustine, Florida
Old City Gates and Walls of St. Augustine, Florida
Old City Gates of the Old City
This coquina stone entry can
be seen at the north end of St.
George Street in the St.
Augustine historic district.
View of the City Wall
The reconstructed earth and
wall log that surrounded St.
Augustine can be seen here
leading west from the Castillo.
Old City Gates and Walls - St. Augustine, Florida
Old City Gates of St. Augustine, Florida
Fort Matanzas was built by the Spanish to protect
the southern approach to the historic city of
St. Augustine, Florida.
America's Ancient Walled City
Visitors to historic St. Augustine, Florida, can
still see evidence that the ancient Spanish
city was once surrounded by strong walls.

The city was nearly 150 years old when the
Spanish military and local residents finally
decided enough was enough and began the
process of fortifying the entire town. St.
Augustine had been attacked a number of
times over the years, but an English assault
in 1702 was the "straw that broke the camel's

Led by Governor James Moore, the large
English force and looted and sacked the city.
Even though he was unable to capture the
powerful Castillo de San Marcos, where
1,500 residents took shelter, Moore
devastated the old city.

Two years later in 1704, the Spanish began
construction of the Cubo line, a powerful
earthen wall backed by palmetto logs. From
the outworks of the
Castillo de San Marcos,
the wall extended west across the northern
end of town to the San Sebastian River.

Along this line were the main gates to the city
and several larger fortifications called
redoubts. The redoubts added extra power to
the line and provided locations for artillery

From the western end of the Cubo line, a
second wall called the Rosario line ran south
down the west side of the city.  Several 18th
century maps show that these walls
enclosed all of St. Augustine.

That the walls were effective is evident from
the fact that St. Augustine was never again
conquered after they were built. Governor
James Oglethorpe's English army besieged
the city in 1740, but was unable to break
through the powerful defenses.

Because the earthworks and timber
deteriorated over time, the walls were rebuilt
and repaired over the more than 100 years
that they protected the city. Major construction
projects took place during the 1730s and
again in 1808.

The last known time the walls were used in
conflict was during the Second Seminole
War (1835-1842). War parties of Seminoles
struck around St. Augustine, but advanced no
closer to the city itself than the Cubo Line.
Reconstructed Town Wall
A section of the old town wall
has been reconstructed at
Castillo de San Marcos. The
main fort is visible in the
Visitors to St. Augustine today can see
several reconstructed sections of the historic
city walls. One long section of the Cubo Line
has been restored on the grounds of the
Castillo de San Marcos. The old fort itself
anchored the eastern end of the line and the
restored sector stretches west across what
was once the northern edge of the city.

A second section of the Cubo Line can be
seen just across the street from the Castillo
at the Old City Gate.

The Old City Gate is a noted landmark in St.
Augustine. Constructed of coquina in 1808, it
was built at the time of the last reconstruction
of the Cubo Line. The gate columns still
stand today and reconstructed sections of
the earthworks adjoin it to the east and west.
The gate opens onto the northern end of St.
George Street which leads through the heart
of the old city.

West of the gate, Santo Domingo Redoubt
has been reconstructed to its 1808 form near
the intersection of Cordova and Orange
Streets. Other fortification sites of interest
Castillo de San Marcos, Fort
Matanzas and Fort Mose.
Castillo de San Marcos
The cannon of the Castillo de
San Marcos anchored the
east end of the city's northern
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Copyright 2011 & 2013 by Dale Cox
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Last Updated: November 14, 2013