The Guardian of Mobile: Fort Conde
Fort Conde was reconstructed on a 4/5 scale in the 1970s to represent the fort as it was built by the French in the 1700s. The fort has a striking appearance, and serves as the official welcome center to visitors of the city. A row of cannons lines the upper deck above the I-10 tunnel that leads into downtown Mobile, giving an air of protection as the fort once did. Sentry boxes topped with fleurs de lis protrude from the corners. High rise buildings shoot up around the outside of the fort, creating a drastic and visually appealing contrast to the 18th century-designed buildings with French Mansard roof tops inside the fort.
History: 3 Flags over Mobile
Fort Conde was initially constructed by the French in 1723 with brick walls on a stone foundation and a dry moat surrounding the outside. In these times the fort covered what is now several city blocks. The fort's original name was Fort Louis, named after the King of France. The name was later changed to Fort Conde to honor King Louis XIV's brother, the Prince of Conde. Over the years the fort changed hands (as did the city of Mobile) from French rule to British rule to Spanish rule before finally belonging to the United States.
The fort served as the French headquarters in the region until 1763 when it was turned over to the British along with the rest of Alabama as part of the agreement to end the French and Indian War. The British renamed the fort to be Fort Charlotte. During the Battle of Fort Charlotte, a significant battle fought during the American Revolution, American troops allied with Spanish forces led by General Bernardo de Galvez to take the fort from the British. The battle lasted from March 10 to March 13, 1780. The Spanish and American forces drove away British troops, but only after they had destroyed the entire city of Mobile. The Spanish then took control of the fort, renaming it yet again. This time it was called Fort Carlota.
American Occupation & Fort Conde Village
In 1813, American troops occupied the city of Mobile and took control of the fort. In the 1820s, Congress authorized the sale and removal of most of the fort, as it was no longer needed for defense. By the end of 1823, most of the original fort was gone and the city made way for the construction of new streets and houses. Fort Conde Village was constructed around this time. This quaint and historic neighborhood still exists outside the fort. Take a tour of the neighborhood when you come up to visit the Fort from our Gulf Shores condos and Orange Beach rentals and stop at the famous Conde-Charlotte House, a house museum with antiques and artifacts that represent life in the area under various flags.
Fort Conde is open daily from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Admission is free. It is well worth a visit from our Orange Beach condos and Gulf Shores rentals. You'll be able to view the fort as it once was with replicas of the artillery storage, jail cell, soldiers' quarters, and officers' quarters. There are also a couple of miniature models of fort as it once was before it was torn down and a model of the Spanish siege of fort in 1780. Inside you'll also find a museum displaying artifacts from Native Americans and Europeans who colonized the Mobile area as well as old maps and letters.
150 S. Royal Street