Castillo de San Marcos
Whether you’re an American history aficionado or just enjoy exploring cool places, Castillo de San Marcos is the place for you. Even this simple shot of the entrance drawbridge has a lot going on: ancient coquina at right, 17th century walls evoking an era of opulence and piracy, artillery trained on imaginary attackers (who, unfortunately for the Spanish, weren’t imaginary in the 18th century), the old crest above the entrance. (The crest dates from 1756). And check out the dry moat. Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t used as a moat by the Spanish, but was rather a place to graze cattle during times of hardship.
Aviles Street is one of those perky, “artsy” sections of town that you might not have explored as thoroughly as the main tourist attractions. It’s home to art galleries, cafes, stately old homes, an old coquina wall pockmarked with cannonball scars, and the coral pink, impossible-to-miss Spanish Military Hospital. Here we see the Ximenez-Fatio House, dating from 1798. If you can find a place to park or don’t mind walking, you can take tours of the house. Just walking around St. Augustine and knowing that so many things you see date from the days of Spanish occupation is pretty fascinating in its own right.
(c) 2015 St. Augustine Fridays