Fort Conde as it stands today is a recreation of the original fort from 1702.
Leave it to Congress to mess things up. They authorized the sale and removal of the original one back in 1820. Taxpayers paid to demolish it, then paid years later (1976) to erect the much smaller replica Fort Conde, that we see today. I’m not sure if that was what I was supposed to take from the history tour, but I did…:/ I’m normally not that enthused about replicas. But they do serve their purpose. Such as, without this one, I may never have learned about the history of this little piece of ground or what eventually was the base for the city of Mobile. Or have been able to experience the beautiful views of Mobile that can only be seen from the top deck.
The History of Fort Conde
Originally founded in 1702 at 27-Mile Bluff up the river, Mobile was relocated in 1711 to the current site where a temporary wooden stockade fort was constructed to protect the town. It was named Fort Louis after the old fort upriver. In 1723, construction of a new brick fort with a stone foundation began. Renamed Fort Condé in honor of King Louis XIV’s brother. Fort Condé protected Mobile and its citizens for nearly 100 years from 1723-1820. It was built by the French as a defense against a British and Spanish attack on the strategic location of Mobile and its Bay.
The military importance of Mobile and Fort Condé was huge. The fort and town protected access into the strategic lands between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic colonies along the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers. From 1763 to 1780, England was in possession of Mobile and the fort was renamed Fort Charlotte in honor of King George III’s wife. From 1780 to1813, Spain ruled Mobile and the fort was renamed, Fort Carlota. In 1813, Mobile was occupied by United States troops and the fort again named Fort Charlotte. In 1820, Congress authorized the sale and removal of the fort since it was no longer needed for defense. City funds paid for the demolition to make way for new streets and construction built towards the river and southward. By late 1823, most above ground traces of Mobile’s fort was gone.
The artifacts inside are cool and the views of Mobile from the rooftop are worth going. They do a very nice job representing Mobile’s History and presenting the exhibits, but still was weird for me knowing it was fake. If you haven’t been it’s worth a quick pass through at least.
Fort Conde is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily Admission is free. Located at 150 South Royal Street Mobile, AL