Thursday, October 27, 2016

October 28, 2016

Castillo de San Marcos

The “British Room” was built by spring 1685. In the 1750s the rooms were enlarged, expanded into the courtyard, and given high vaulted ceilings. This particular room was originally part of a larger storeroom. During the 1760s or 1770s, it was given a wooden second floor by the British so they might house more men and supplies. Also visible in this photo is the chamber which later became a separate room for subsidy supplies (seen through the doorway). Through the window at right, the white grated structure is the sally port located in the main hall.

Fountain of Youth

This is the Nombre de Dios church at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park (not to be confused with the Mission of Nombre de Dios a short distance away). Built about 3 years ago, it is a reconstruction of the church which stood on this site in 1587. This is how the early Spanish settlers of “San Agustín", or at least their children, would have worshiped. Note the confessional booth at left and the primitive altar. I believe this is one of those places where any visitor can find peace and reflection regardless of religious tradition (or lack thereof).

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 21, 2016

Old City Gate

I’ve been through the old City Gate a time or two, and it wasn’t until I was writing this post that I actually read what the historical marker said. I wasn’t aware the gate was once ironbound or that it was pretty impressive in its heyday. You can see that the palm logs probably aren’t the originals from 1808 (actually, I’m sure they’re not) but you get the idea of how the gate once looked. In the olden times, if you got caught outside the gate after curfew, you were stuck there until morning. Considering that there’s a supposedly haunted cemetery and a supposedly haunted 17TH century fort visible from this very spot, I guess your degree of belief in the paranormal would have dictated how well you handled being stranded outside the city walls.

Authentic Old Drug Store (now Potter’s Wax Museum)

I haven’t been to Potter’s so I can’t give a review, but concerning the building itself, it’s rather interesting. It has stood on this street corner since 1886 (the eerie Tolomato Cemetery just beyond the parking lot is a lot older than that, and worth a visit). Once known as the Speissegger Drugstore, it later served as a tourist venue featuring old pharmaceutical paraphernalia. (I went. I toured. I wasn’t impressed). Recently it became the home of Potter’s Wax Museum, which you may have visited at its former King Street location. One of the things I find fascinating about this building is the front door, which is actually built into the corner instead of being in one wall or the other.

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, October 13, 2016

October 14, 2016

** Please consider giving a donation to help the residents of St. Augustine after Hurricane Matthew if you are able to do so. If interested, you may wish to check out the First Coast Hurricane Relief Fund **

 Mission Nombre de Dios

The 208-feet-tall “Great Cross” can be seen from many places. Here, the dark stand of trees and the gathering rainclouds make the area somehow inviting. At left, the Usina Bridge which leads to Vilano Beach can be seen. A walk by the inlet is always pleasant regardless of the weather. And of course you can’t go wrong with waving palms either.

Colonial Quarter

Colonial Quarter is one of those fascinating places where you can explore centuries of history just by taking a leisurely walk. In this particular outdoor museum you’ll see reconstructed Spanish buildings ranging from the 16TH to the 18TH centuries, an 18TH century British complex, and a home first begun during the days of America’s wilderness and finished just a few short decades before the Civil War. This particular photo shows the British print shop. Note the large flag above the fireplace, as well as old furniture, an ink-well, and other touches which show great attention to detail.

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, October 6, 2016

October 07, 2016

** Best wishes for all those in the path of Hurricane Matthew ... stay safe! **

Castillo de San Marcos

Here we see the door between the two Spanish guardrooms on the south wall. Before the construction overhaul of the 1750s, these two chambers were one large room. Aside from the modern wooden gates, everything about this photo screams “old.” The walls with their patterns of deterioration, the door with its rusty hardware . . . more like a medieval castle than anything else. Of course, as soon as you step through these chambers and into the courtyard, it gets a lot cheerier.

Fountain of Youth

I don’t know whose house this is at the end of Magnolia Avenue, but I’d sure love to live in it. Imagine taking a stroll along this beautiful street every morning, with one of St. Augustine’s most historic attractions (the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park) just a short distance away. The wall seen at left is made of tabby, an oyster shell-based construction material. Interestingly, the Spanish form “tapia” means “mud wall.” Note the Spanish moss hanging down from the branches, in some places so low that you can touch it. (I wouldn’t recommend touching it, though. I remember tour trolley tales about unsuspecting settlers using it as filling without boiling it to remove the bugs . . . fun times, no doubt!)

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 30, 2016

Avenida Menendez

Avenida Menendez is one of St. Augustine’s busiest thoroughfares and boasts great views. Not only will you see Matanzas Bay, but the St. Augustine Lighthouse (located on Anastasia Island) is also visible, as well as the lovely 1920’s “Bridge of Lions.” It’s not at all unusual to have overcast weather while walking the city, but dreary days have their own charm.

Casa Monica Hotel

If you’re lucky enough to be walking around St. Augustine at leisure, you’ll often come across architectural gems like this one. These Spanish tiles can be found at the Casa Monica Hotel in the more “modern” part of town. I don’t know if the chosen design has any significance, but the panel evokes a feeling of old Spain in a town that’s already dripping with Hispanic history and culture. (On a side note, if you’re interested in purchasing Spanish tiles and similar items in this style, there are many shops that sell them in St. Augustine. Market to Market on St. George Street and the Colonial Quarter shops come to mind).

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays