Naval Air Station, Fort Barrancas and Lighthouse
Pensacola Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
After visiting Mobile, Alabama we headed back to Pensacola to visit the lighthouse and Fort Barrancas. Both are located on the NAS(Naval Air Station) and Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Pensacola is known as the city of five flags. Spanish, French, British, American, and Confederate(Civil War). Visited the lighthouse first, it's off season and it was closed. Took pictures from the outside.
Headed over to the fort next. Concerned about the French and British exploration and colonization, Spain built the first colony and fort near pensacola in 1698. The French briefly occupied the site in 1719. Later the British acquired Pensacola in1793 and built a naval redoubt on the barrancas.
General Andrew Jackson seized the Spanish forts in 1814 and 1818. When Florida became part of the United States in 1821, the U.S. Navy selected pensacola Bay as the site for the Warrington Navy Yard. In order to protect the navy yard the U.S. Army , with the force of some 60 slaves, made improvments to the Spanish water battery and built Fort Barrancas over the ruins of San Carlos de Barrancas from 1839 to 1844.
Fort Barrancas was an intergral part of the coast defense system until 1947 when coastal forts were declared surplus. In 1971 Fort Barrancus became part of the newly formed Gulf Islands national Seashore. Extensive restoration of the forts was completed by the National Park Service in 1980.