Monday, March 24, 2014

"The Coquina Castillo"

The Coquina Castillo

She's served six flags, birthed
of a Queen's command, fashioned
of ancient shellfish, lime, water, & sand -

has absorbed all blows, never bowed to force,
gracefully welcomes today
those who seek a peek inside,
run around upon manicured lawn,
or lean upon her bold, fortified walls

to listen for sounds of soldiers
from the past, for brave souls
who've never abandoned post.

by Margaret Bednar, March 24, 2014

Are the walls of the historic fortress, Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, Florida, haunted?  Some say yes!  This fort has protected soldiers, housed families - over 1,000 town folk, and kept many prisoners within it's walls - many stories held here.

Coquina is the impenetrable and shock absorbing mixture of ancient small shellfish that died long ago and whose shells have bonded together to form a stone.  The mortar was comprised of crushed oyster shells (which made a powder called lime) and was mixed with sand and water.  This mortar still holds the Castillo together today.  It took 23 years to construct, being completed in 1695.

My six year old son is standing beside the palm tree.

This is linked with Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Open Link Monday.

Below is an arial view of the fort which I took from this website:  Augustine  There was a moat around the castle as you can see more clearly below.

Not my video (I don't know the guy) but he does a pretty thorough tour (he really likes the canons)… it's about 9 minutes long.


Kay L. Davies said...

Queen Isabella of Spain, I imagine. No?
Certainly looks impregnable for that age and time, and a wonderful historic treasure for today.

Steve King said...

Very interesting post, in the poem, the pictures and the narrative account.
Steve K.

TexWisGirl said...

an impressive and daunting structure.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a most informative post, Margaret. Such an interesting history, and it must be quite a moving experience to visit the fortifications, wondering at the ghosts that remain behind.

Mama Zen said...

This is really cool, Margaret!

Kim Nelson said...

The poem stands alone, and could reference a woman or a structure. The background story is delightfully informative. I was there several years ago and reveled in the history and surrounding landscape.

kaykuala said...

Massive and Impregnable. One cannot imagine how pitch battles could have been made outside the walls. Beautiful take Marge! Thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

A ghostly remains, for sure, the oldest European ruins in America ... We've stayed at Crescent Beach near Ft. Matanzas several times, history in Florida is rare and old old history is just plain weird. Driving by the Augustine fort one tries to imagine just what could have risen there, risen and fallen so many times as the fort was won and lost and won and lost. Great stuff --

Heaven said...

Such a lovely historical place, it reminds me our Quebec and Niagara forts ~ Those soldiers are so brave indeed ~ Thanks for the pictures ~

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thank you for this informative post brought to life by your wonderful words.
Anna :o]

Ella said...

I love history-you captured the magic in the mystery and the hearts of the brave!