Friday, March 4, 2011

St Augustine: History in my background

I spent the past Sunday and Monday in St. Augustine. It's only six hours away from where I live and yet I never found the time to go there--more precisely never made time, which was a big mistake. What a lovely quaint town.

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Yesterday I posted different pictures of St. Augustine at the Pink Fuzzy Slippers Blog.

I learned some history about our country as I toured St. Augustine.

Ponce de Leon, a noble Spaniard, was a member of Christopher Columbus's second expedition to the New World. In April 1513 he sailed from Puerto Rico to discover new islands. When he sighed land, he named it La Florida, in recognition of the verdant landscape and because it was the Easter season, which the Spaniards called Pascua Florida (Festival of Flowers).

The precise location of their landing on the Florida coast has been disputed for many years. Some historians believe it occurred at St. Augustine, and some argue that Ponce came ashore even further south near the present location of Melbourne Beach. Ponce de Leon was a short man, only 4.11 ft, and his statue shows his real height.

In 1565 Don Pedro Menende founded the first permanent settlement and oldest city in what is now the United states. Built in 1672-1695, Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest fortress in US and is designated as America's first national monument.
We arrived on Sunday around five o'clock, checked at the Avilles Avenue Hilton which consists of a series of several renovated, old houses, connected together, and later had a delicious dinner of shrimp and fish at the next door Irish Pub restaurant.
In the morning we sat at the terrace of one of the Flagler hotels for coffee and cupcakes and then took a trolley to sightsee the town.
At the Fountain of Youth Park, a Spaniard soldier guards the entrance.
An old carriage in front of the St. Augustine Jail.

The oldest house in United States.

The oldest church, Our Lady de la Leche, where Father Francisco Lopez celebrated the first Mass in our nation.

The Believe it or Not Museum and a tree tunk wide enough to be used as trailer.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine founded in September 8, 1565 .

One of the Flagler hotels, now the Lightner Museum,

with Henry Flagler's statue.

Henry Flagler donnated one of the three hotels he built to the city. It is now a college.

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Lilly Gayle said...

Visited St. Aug back in 1998 with my family and loved it. Did the carriage ride tour through the city and climbed to the top of the lighthouse. Thanks for sharing the pictures and bringing back fond memories.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Lilly, I took the trolley tour too and enjoyed it so much.

Molly Daniels said...

My mom and grandma went to St. A several years before my grandma's death. I'll have to show Mom this post and ask her to pull out her pictures:)

Mona Risk said...

Molly, I hope your Mom enjoy my pictures.

StephB said...

Wow, Mona, I love your pictures, so vivid and they capture a wonderful, authentic flavor of St. Augstine. Have you thought of turning your pics into a postcard business?

Thanks so much for sharing! St. Augustine is definately on my Bucket List!


LK Hunsaker said...

Nice travelogue, Mona! I've been to St. Augustine, but I was young and barely remember it. I'd love to go back, especially after seing your photos.