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  • Fort McHenry's Mobile Tour: How to Get Started

    Welcome to

    Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine!

    This tour connects the Star Fort to the surrounding landscape and the defenders of Fort McHenry in 1814. It is the story of the Birthplace of the National Anthem and the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner.

    We will begin by becoming familiar with Fort McHenry as it was in the summer of 1814. A fort is a fortified place occupied by troops, the word comes from the Latin “fortis,” meaning “strong.” Fort McHenry is a five-bastion star fort designed by the French engineer Jean Foncin. It is of brick and earth construction surrounded by a dry moat, and was built between 1798 and 1803. Fort McHenry was named for James McHenry (1753 – 1816), a delegate from Maryland to the Continental Congress, and U.S. Secretary of War from 1796 to 1800. 

    The tour takes approximately one hour. Let’s begin behind the Visitor Center.

    To begin your tour, choose one of the following options: 

    1. Select the location listed below that you wish to learn about.


    2. Press the Magnifying Glass icon on the top right and enter a tour stop number (#1 - #11.) Once you have selected the location you wish to learn about, you can visit the next or previous site on the tour by selecting the links located at the bottom of the screen.