Field Trip! Today we’re in St. Augustine, the oldest permanently European-occupied city in America. We started out at an estate sale south of the Old City and experienced great success — African masks, an African textile, a Chinese ceramic horse and Italian glass sculptures.

After the morning’s excitement we dawdled the afternoon away in the historic section of St. Augustine. Its Spanish colonial roots continue to draw locals and tourists alike.

Explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, his troops and settlers, first sighted land on the feast day of St. Agustín. They came ashore on September 8, 1565 and immediately celebrated with a Catholic Mass. Here’s the heroic Señor Menéndez:
St. Augustine Pedro Menéndez

Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fortification in the country, faced bombardment twice in the 18th century — once by the British and once by Georgia’s Governor Oglethorpe. Its porous coquina walls, made from soft limestone and shells, simply absorbed the  cannonballs.
St. Augustine Castillo de San Maracos

After the Civil War, many Native Americans from the West’s Indian Wars were imprisoned and died at the fort. The Castillo stayed in commission until 1900, serving under 5 flags: Spanish, British, United States, the Confederate States, and back to the United States.

Here’s a view of Mantanzas River from the grounds of the Castillo. The Bridge of Lions stretches across the river in the background. The Spanish word mantanzas means killings or slaughters, a reference the deaths of French Huguenots in a massacre led by Pedro Menéndez.
St. Augustine Mantanzas River

St. Augustine charms visitors with its variety of architecture. This wooden house, now a coffee cafe, would be typical for the early settlers.
St. Augustine Wood House

This cafe flies three flags of St. Augustine.
St. Augustine Cafe Flying 3 flags

Typical bricked side street in the historic district:
St, Augustine Hypolita Street

In the late 19th century, oil magnate Henry Flagler financed the building of the exclusive Ponce de León Hotel in Spanish Colonial style with Moorish influences. The building is now a part of Flagler College and known as Ponce de Leon Hall:
Flagler College

Even though we visited at the end of April, the temperature hovered around 87 degrees. Yes, it was a hot day. The lush vegetation, however, proved delightful.
St. Augustine lush gardens

That’s a statue of Queen Isabella on a burro to demonstrate her humility:
St. Augustine Statue of Queen Isabella

As refreshing as the foundation looks, I cooled off with a champagne mango popsicle.
St. Augustine fountain
St. Augustine fountain

Thanks for stopping by. Your comments always delight us.

Ann Marie and David

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3 Comments on St. Augustine, Florida

  1. Mary-the boondocks blog
    May 10, 2016 at 10:18 pm (5 years ago)

    What a beautiful city, it is so full of European charm. I am very partial to stone walls on buildings so you had me right there. This sort of reminds me of my town which is also full of palm trees and lush vegetation. But this is on a much grander scale. Thank you, Ann Marie for joining us , I will be pinning and sharing your post.

    • irisabbey
      May 11, 2016 at 5:51 pm (5 years ago)

      Thanks, Mary. St. Augustine is lovely. After Thanksgiving they light up the Historic District with thousands of twinkly lights. One year we went down for an evening wedding in the basilica, not knowing it was the lighting celebration also. Traffic jams galore. We arrived just as the wedding was supposed to start, which I thought was horrible — and we waited another 30 minutes for the priest to make it.

  2. Diana Petrillo
    May 11, 2016 at 10:19 pm (5 years ago)

    I so enjoyed taking the tour with you Ann Marie. I’ve never been to St. Augustine before, but hope to some day. MY sweet husband and I love historic towns and sites, too. Thanks for sharing your trip with us at Vintage Charm (along with your fabulous furniture finds–oh my!).


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