Fort Matanzas was built by the Spanish in 1742 to protect the southern approach to St. Augustine. In this panoramic view, we see the sentry box (garita) at the southern corner of the fort and the cannons pointing toward the Matanzas River Inlet. The sentry box was rebuilt of coquina stone in 1929 after having fallen into disrepair in the 1800s. Today, sturdy stairs lead visitors to the gundeck. When Matanzas was a functioning fort, soldiers entered via a wooden ladder, which could be pulled up in case of attack.