St. Augustine, Florida

By | Jul 8, 2009

52 years after Ponce de Leon first sighted Florida and two years after the French established a fort and colony on the St. Johns River, 600 soldiers and settlers under the leadership of Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles settled St. Augustine on September 8, 1565. Menendez destroyed the French fort resulting in the coast of Florida being in full control of the Spanish.

In 1586, Sir Francis Drake attacked and burned the town, but did not take control of the town.

St. Augustine was founded 42 years before the first English settlement in Jamestown (1607) and is the oldest surviving European settlement in the United States.

Even though Florida seceded from the Union and join the Confederate States of America, the fort at St Augustine was occupied by Union soldiers during the entire war.

The Fort at St Augustine, which has served under 5 different flags has never been taken. It was removed from the active roles of the US Army in 1900 and is now the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.

The city is rich with Spanish Colonial style buildings with an ongoing preservation effort to restore these buildings to their original appearance and has become a center for colonial Spanish culture.

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