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Historical Landscapes of of St. Augustine, Florida

Historical Landscapes of of St. Augustine, Florida

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The rich and colorful history of St. Augustine, Florida is filled with tales of plundering pirates and privateers, conquest and settlements, and people who sought to build strong, vibrant communities. Colonization, Henry M. Flagler and the Civil Rights Movement have all played a vital role in shaping the history and culture of the bustling City. Today, St. Augustine is home to many historical sites and breathtaking beaches. Here are a few notable sites:


  • Mission of Nombre De Dios has its origin in the early days of the St. Augustine settlement. Explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed in St. Augustine in September of 1565, claiming the land in the name of Spain and the Catholic Church. Champlain of the expedition, Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales conducted the first parish Mass at this site, which became a notable sacred spot dedicated to the devotion to Our Lady of La Leche that continues to this day.


  • Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fort of its kind in the U.S. and is over 315 years old. This stone fortress was built by the Spanish between 1672 and 1675 to protect and defend Spain's possessions along the coastline against invasion. Made of local coquina stones, quarried from Anastasia Island, the fort boasts numerous rooms that once housed war soldiers and prisoners, a large interior courtyard and gun deck.


  • Today, the Old Jail stands not as a picture of a prison facility, but that of a fancy Victorian house. It was built in 1891 by Henry Flagler and housed prisoners from 1891-1953. It has been restored and renovated over the years, but maintain its Romanesque Revival exterior.


  • The Lightner Museum was commissioned by Henry Flagler and built in 1888. It was housed in the former Alcazar Hotel, which closed its door during the Depression. In 1947, it  was purchased by Otto Lightner to house his Victorian-era collectables, from furniture to fine arts. Lightner opened as a museum, which he later donated to the City to be a permanent museum for his collection.


  • Located in St. Johns County, a bridge away from St. Augustine is Vilano Beach, a charming favorite among locals. It features tiled fountains and an art deco style flare, and offers water sports (surfing and skimboarding), shell hunting and fishing.


  • Anastasia State Park stretches for 1,600 acres, with four miles of white, sandy, pristine beach, tidal salt marshes and hammock preserves. It is the perfect spot for sunbathing, surfing, swimming, fishing, paddle boarding and sailboarding. The variety of wildlife in Anastasia includes dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, fish, crabs, marsh birds and  turtles.

The historical landscape of St. Augustine is filled with remarkable tales of the past and is a part of what makes it the special place that it is today.

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