Fort Condé stood watch over Mobile from 1723 to 1820, just three years shy of 100 years. The fort was built by the French and named after Louis Henri de Bourbon, prince of Condé – but it didn’t keep the name long!
The English gained control of the region in 1763, changing the fort’s name to Fort Charlotte. Come 1780, the fort changes hands and name once more. Now the Spanish have control and they rename the complex, Fort Carlota. 1813 rolls around and the fort finds itself controlled by U.S. troops and once again called Fort Charlotte.
Is it any wonder, after all that, that the fort is now commonly referred to as the Fort of Colonial Mobile?
Things calmed down in the region after 1813 and, by 1823, the once mighty fort was gone: dismantled.
Zoom forward to the 1970’s and a reinterest in celebrating the colonial period of Mobile’s history. Careful excavation of the fort’s original site and a study of the building plans allows for a reconstruction of the Fort of Colonial Mobile. Of course, the reconstruction had to be a bit smaller than the original to fit in modern Mobile!
The historic Fort Condé compound took up almost 11 acres of land in what is now downtown Mobile. Reconstructing the fort to its original dimensions would have meant tearing down large sections of Royal Street, Government Boulevard, Church Street, Saint Emanuel Street, and Theatre Street!
Consequently, the reconstructed Fort of Colonial Mobile represents about one-third of the original compound, rendered in 4/5-scale. Even dramatically downsized the Fort of Colonial Mobile remains impressive and makes one wonder at how daunting a site the original Fort Condé must have been!
Visitors to the Fort of Colonial Mobile enjoy interactive exhibits, historic artifacts, and more on the peoples of early Mobile, both Native American and European. The complex includes a Colonial Cafe, Trading Post, Colonial Photo Booth, Breakout Room, and a Shooting Gallery.
Guides in period costumes help to provide a fully immersive Colonial experience. Live exhibitions include a Fife and Drum band, a cannon firing, and actors representing historical, Colonial Mobile residents.
The Fort of Colonial Mobile will educate and entertain history buffs and casual visitors alike.
The Fort of Colonial Mobile
150 S. Royal Street, Mobile, AL
Hours – 9am to 5pm, daily. Closed most major holidays.
Be sure to visit colonialmobile.com for more details, special events, tickets, and more!
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