Orlando, Florida

By | August 16, 2022

City of Theme Parks

The city of Orlando is located in the central east of the US state of Florida, USA. About 240,000 people live in Orlando. However, the city is located in a densely populated metropolitan area of ​​the North American coastal state.

Downtown Orlando at Lake Eola in a sea of ​​lights at night

According to Acronymmonster, Orlando is known all over the world for its very well-attended theme parks, huge amusement parks that are primarily very interesting for families with children. Tourists flock to the theme parks. About 60 million people come to Orlando every year to visit the amusement parks. In summer it is usually very warm and rainy in Orlando. The rest of the year, however, is surprisingly cool and dry.

The boom came with Walt Disney

The first whites settled in the region in the mid-19th century. Until then, Native Americans were at home there. At first, ranching was the dominant industry in the Orlando area. A new boom came to Orlando in the mid-20th century. Initially anonymous, Walt Disney bought huge, swampy lots. Disney World Resort finally opened in Orlando in 1971. Disney’s competitors recognized the benefits of Florida’s location and in the years that followed opened theme parks in the Orlando area as well.

Orca Show – Sea World Orlando – Still contemporary?

New attractions are planned

One of the highlights of the amusement parks in Orlando is the 122 meter high Ferris wheel called “Orlando Eye”. A “Skyfall” and a unique roller coaster are planned as new attractions. All of the amusement parks in the Walt Disney City of Orlando outdo each other with new attractions to attract visitors. Therefore, it will not be boring in the future in the theme parks, the leisure facilities of Orlando.

Amusement parks in Orlando

  • Walt Disney World Resort
  • Seaworld Orlando
  • Legoland
  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  • Universal Orlando Resort
  • Magic Kingdom
  • Epcot
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  • Discovery Cove
  • Universal Studios Florida
  • Blizzard Beach
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
  • Wet ‘n Wild Orlando

Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida

National Park of the Sea

Dry Tortugas National Park is located in the US state of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. The protected area has an area of ​​262 km². The area is located at the end of the ” Florida Keys ” island chain and encloses seven fairly small coral and sandy islands.

Coral banks as a nursery for marine animals

The real treasures of Dry Tortugas National Park that are worth protecting are below the water surface. Intact coral banks are lined with countless colorful schools of fish.

Seaplane at Dry Tortugas National Park

The islands make up only 1% of the area in Dry Tortugas National Park, so 99% of the protected area is underwater, in the Gulf of Mexico. The coral banks are home to nearly 450 species of fish. Rare and endangered sea turtles also live in the Dry Tortugas area. Frigatebirds and terns breed in the reserve.

Fort Jefferson – Built to protect merchant ships

Fort Jefferson is located in Dry Tortugas National Park at the southern end of the Florida Keys island chain. The island itself is not much larger than the fort. It was built in the early/mid 19th century. Around 1,500 soldiers were initially stationed there. However, since Fort Jefferson was not involved in a military conflict with enemy fleets in Florida, it was converted into a prison. It was originally intended to protect the sea trade routes along the Florida Keys.

Fort Jefferson ramparts off the Florida coast

In 1935 the fort received the status of “National Monument”. The area has been designated as a bird sanctuary. In 1970, Fort Jefferson was added to the United States’ list of “Historic Places”. In 1992, Fort Jefferson became part of the newly established Dry Tortugas National Park. Today, Fort Jefferson is one of the highlights on land in the sanctuary. The fort was named after former US President Thomas Jefferson. In 1992, the protected area was significantly expanded and designated as “Dry Tortugas National Park”. About 60,000 tourists come to the protected area, which is located about 110 km from Key West, every year.

Rhincodon Typus – whale shark on the move in Dry Tortugas National Park

Dangerous Reefs

Especially during the colonization of America, but also in later centuries, numerous ships crashed on the coral reefs of the Keys. About 250 ships are said to have sunk in the Dry Tortugas National Park area. An important maritime trade route once passed through the Florida Keys.

Underwater paradise Dry Tortugas

The seabed in Dry Tortugas National Park still holds some secrets today. The protected area can be accessed by ferries from Key West. The impatient can also charter a small plane with water skids. Entrance fee to Dry Tortugas National Park is $5. The park is open all year round. Camping is very limited in the Dry Tortugas park area, so it is best to refrain from doing so. Snorkeling is very popular in the waters off Florida’s coast.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument – Florida

Castle of St Marks

In 1695 the solid brick fort ” Castillo de San Marcos ” was completed after 25 years of construction. The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is located on the southeast coast of the United States, in northeast Florida. The Castillo de San Marcos, the “Castle of St. Marks”, sits on a sea bay in downtown St. Augustine. St. Augustine was one of the first permanent European settlements in North America. In 1924 the fort received the status of a “National Monument” of the United States of America.

Fortification – Castillo de San Marcos – Florida

The legacy of the Spaniards

Before the stone fort was built, several forts had already been built on the same site. However, the wooden fortifications were repeatedly damaged by enemy attacks. To manifest its claim to Florida, the ” Spanish Crown ” decided to build a sturdy stone fort. The stones for the construction of the Castillo de San Marcos were brought from the island “Anastasia Island”. Even today, the Castillo de San Marcos is the largest structure of Spanish colonial architecture in all of North America.

Castillo de San Marcos was never conquered

The newly built fort had to pass its first test in 1702. Coming from the north, Governor J. Moore of South Carolina attacked Fort Castillo de San Marcos and St. Augustine with his troops. Citizens of St. Augustine and Spanish soldiers, about 1,500 people, found shelter inside the fort. The British raiders from South Carolina besieged the fort for two months. A Spanish fleet stationed in Cuba finally came to the aid of the “Castillo de San Marcos”. The British attackers were driven out. The unprotected settlement of St. Augustine, on the other hand, was completely destroyed. This was one of the battles of “Queen Anne’s War”. Many other attackers tried to take the Castillo de San Marcos in the period that followed, but they did not succeed. In 1738, the walls of the Castillo de San Marcos were strengthened again, just in time to be attacked by enemy troops from Georgia. The British could not take the Castillo de San Marcos.

Spoils of war by the British

Only in the middle of the 18th century, after the British victory over the Franco-Spanish alliance, did the Steinfort fall into British hands without a fight. From then on they called the fortification ” Fort St. Marks “. The English now use the Castillo de San Marcos for their military purposes.

Historical cannon of the Spanish troops

The US Army’s “Fort Marion”.

In 1821 Florida became part of the United States. The US Army occupied and Castillo de San Marcos; now the name of the military base was ” Fort Marion “. During the “Second Seminole War” (1835-1842), Fort Marion served as an important base for the US Army. The captured Seminole chief Osceola died and was buried at Fort Marion. During the American Civil War (1861-1865) “Fort Marion” no longer played a major strategic role.

Castillo de San Marcos loses military importance

The US Army abandoned Fort Marion in 1900 as it was no longer needed as a base. In 1942 the name was changed back to Castillo de San Marcos. At the fort there is a small exhibition with objects from the American colonial era. Access to the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument is daily. In the summertime the area is usually well frequented.

Orlando, Florida