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