Thursday, December 31, 2015

January 01, 2016

**I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2016!**

Castillo de San Marcos

You can find some pretty great views from the Castillo gun deck. Here we see part of the moat and its retaining wall, as well as the “Glacis” and “Covered Way” (levels of defenses). The palm-log wall is the reconstructed Cubo Line. The original was built in the 1700s and helped protect the town. You can see part of the City Gate peeking through the trees at top left, and also visible are the Huguenot Cemetery  (top center) and the visitor center (top right). As you can see, there are no guard rails across the cannon embrasures, so make sure you don’t take a tumble.

Fountain of Youth

Here we see part of a canoe such as the ones used by Timucuan Indians before and during the Spanish arrival in 1565. All of the informative displays at the Fountain of Youth, and the grounds in general, are beautifully manicured and create aesthetic interest. The combination of sand-colored stones and wooden planks really sets the canoe apart from its surroundings. The marker explains the history and usage of Timucuan transportation.

(c) 2015-2016 Skies of Blue and Gray

Friday, December 18, 2015

December 18, 2015

**I'll be taking off next Friday for Christmas. See you in the New Year!**

Special Feature: Fort Mosé

If you have French, Spanish, Greek, African-American, Caribbean, Native American, or British heritage, chances are you’ll find something pertaining to your cultural heritage in St. Augustine. One great cultural site often overlooked is Fort Mosé, short for Gracía Reál de Santa Teresa de Mosé, which was created as a free black colony in the late 1730s. To live in this settlement there were only two requirements: you had to pledge loyalty to the Spanish crown, and you had to be Catholic. The first photo shows the general location of the now-lost fort. I’ve heard that funds are being raised to build part of a fortification so visitors will have a better understanding of what was here.

The second photo shows the heritage museum located at Fort Mosé. It’s not a very big place but is packed with information. There are various displays showcasing all aspects of African life in the 18th century, some touchable exhibits, and lots of interactive displays as well. If you stand on specially-appointed circles (seen in the photo) you’ll hear stories about the fort’s history and culture. If you’re lucky you might get to see homemade African tribal masks constructed by local children. Fort Mosé isn’t very far from town and is a great choice for anyone who wishes to learn something more than the “typical” history of St. Augustine.

(c) 2015 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 11, 2015

Mission Nombre de Dios

I can’t stress enough that the Mission grounds are *not* just for Catholics. I consider myself a Huguenot in many ways and still have a wonderful time here. :-) This view of St. Joseph and a quaint little gazebo captures the peaceful spirit of the shrine. If you have some time to just sit in the shade and reflect, go for it. The only problem you’ll have if you practice another faith (or none at all) is finding anything at the gift shop (seen here in the background), as there are very few non-Catholic offerings. They do, however, have some lovely postcards!

St. George Street

This is one interesting photo. I don’t know if the cannon is authentic or not, but it makes a great shot either way. It looks as if I’m standing beside it, right? This cannon sits in front of the Pirate & Treasure Museum, and this photo was zoomed in from the top of the 17TH century watchtower at Colonial Quarter! I love the colorful compass mural at top right. 

(c) 2015 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, December 3, 2015

December 04, 2015

Castillo de San Marcos

This photo from the Plaza de Armas or courtyard shows the north and part of the west curtain. At left is a former “arms room”, now the theater, and the blue door to the right of it is the “new” powder magazine. The rooms along the north wall are, from left to right, the “British Room” (once part of a subsidy supply room), another part of the original supply room, the Chapel of St. Mark, and the accountant’s quarters.

Fountain of Youth

I love the new Spanish mission replica at the Fountain of Youth, which was created to resemble an original structure built in 1587. Unfortunately, when I visited last year, it wasn’t open to the public. (I believe there had been some kind of roof damage). This photo was taken in 2014. The roughhewn benches give a feel for the enterprising spirit of the times. The staircase to the choir loft was my favorite part of the mission, though the ambiance of the place was quite nice in general. Can’t wait to go back! 

(c) 2015 St. Augustine Fridays