Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer Pedro Menendez de Aviles, St Augustine is the perfect place for Historic City News subscribers to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this year.
At the Visitor Information Center, modern-day explorers can spot a replica of San Francisco’s breathtaking Fuente de Los Canos, created with molds taken from the original masks.
“In 2005, the mayor of Aviles, Spain, sent mold impressions taken from the infamous 16th-century fountain,” a city spokesperson reported. “The oldest city in the country is home to a number of unique historical and cultural sites.”
St. Francis Barracks, which today serves as the state armory for the Florida Army and Air National Guard, dates back to the 18th century.
It was built in coquina by Franciscan friars. The barracks were converted for military use in 1763 when Florida was still a British possession.
One of St. Augustine’s greatest treasures is the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, built by the Spanish in 1695. It is the oldest masonry fort in the United States.
- The Castillo’s coquina walls are 14 feet thick. Their strength was proven in the War of the Spanish Succession in 1702. The structure never cracked as the coquina successfully absorbed the impact of cannonball fire.
The Number of Dios Mission and Sanctuary of Our Lady of La Leche is a world famous place of pilgrimage. During the first Catholic mass celebrated in the New World, in 1565, Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales presented a wooden cross to the founder of the city who proclaimed this land for Spain and the Church.