Thursday, August 25, 2016

August 26, 2016

 Castillo de San Marcos

The Chapel of St. Mark along the Castillo’s north wall was dedicated in the 1750s, replacing an earlier chapel which later became officers’ quarters. The niche in the wall would have held religious statuary. The Spanish used this room as a sanctuary until the British arrived, and it is possible that the Protestant Englishman repurposed the room as a chapel to celebrate their own faith. Imagine the walls painted white with a dark red stripe along the bottom (computer models show such a scene, using as proof the remnants of color that still remain), and the altar full of religious items and flickering candles.

 Fountain of Youth

St. Augustine is full of such beautiful, unexpectedly aesthetic scenes, and many of them can be found at the Fountain of Youth. I’m not sure what this window’s original purpose was, but now its main goal seems to be evoking a bygone world. Can’t you imagine finding something like this in old Spain? The framing ferns are a nice touch. I remember watching a travel video that showed tourist attractions in Spain, and one of the sections discussed the old Moorish city of Granada. It was stated that poet Francisco de Icaza once said, “. . . there is nothing in life, nothing so sad as to be blind in Granada.” Likewise, there is nothing so sad as to walk St. Augustine without a camera.

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, August 18, 2016

August 19, 2016

Mission Nombre de Dios

This view from the parking lot at Nombre de Dios shows that not every day in Florida is warm and sunny . . . actually I’ve had quite a few of the opposite. That gray sky/cool breeze ambiance can be welcoming and peaceful as long as there are no storm-clouds or torrent downpours involved (been there, done that too) or tornado warnings (I’ve also experienced those). At least you can duck into the chapel and wait for the rain to stop if you don’t want to attempt running to your car waaaaaaay back in the parking lot. Just be warned, everyone else is probably going to be hiding in the chapel too. And it’s not that big!
St. Augustine Lighthouse

You’ll find many interesting and beautiful things at the St. Augustine Lighthouse, including this quaint structure. Research indicates it may have once served as sleeping quarters for members of the Coast Guard. Whatever the case, its size pales in comparison to the lighthouse tower directly behind it. The lighthouse grounds include storage buildings, the keeper’s quarters, the gift shop and museum, and many interesting exhibits.

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays

Thursday, August 4, 2016

August 05, 2016

Castillo de San Marcos

Once you step inside Castillo de San Marcos, it’s as if you’ve stepped into another world . . . the 18TH century to be exact. Standing in the main hall and looking through the archway into a Spanish guardroom lets me know I’ve arrived at my favorite place in all of St. Augustine. Before the 1750s, the guardrooms were one large room, but renovations separated them into two. I sometimes see visitors sitting or lying on the bunks (which I’m not sure you’re allowed to do) to see just how hard they are, but you can see just by looking at them that napping in Spanish times wouldn’t have been much of a treat.

St. George Street

For the first 198 years of life, St. Augustine was solely Spanish. The British were here for 21 years, then the Spanish again for 37 years, and then the old crumbling city came under the protection of the United States of America. The flags shown at the Colonial Quarter gift shop next to the American flag are, from left to right, Florida State, 1ST Period Spanish (1565-1763), 2ND Period Spanish (1784-1821), and British (1763-1784).

(c) 2015-2016 St. Augustine Fridays