On the northeast coast of Florida is the town of St. Augustine (Saint Augustine), which is the oldest city in the United States. Its history dates back to 1565, when it was founded by the Spaniards and therefore does not deny its European roots.
According to ACT-TEST-CENTERS.COM, Florida was colonized many years later than other parts of the United States, and in 1513-1563 six Spanish expeditions were sent here to explore a new land called La Florida – Land of Flowers. However, the colonization of the territory was unsuccessful for the Spaniards. King Phillip II. therefore, he commissioned Spanish Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles to undertake an expedition to colonize Florida and expel the original population, settlers and immigrants. The admiral landed on the Florida coast with about 600 troops and invaded the Timucuan Indian village of Seloy. He colonized the village, fortified it and subsequently named it St. Augustine. Colonization then swept across Florida, building cities, converting Indians to the Christian faith, and extensive exploration of the area.
Picturesque St. Augustine changed owners several times during its existence. In the past, it also became the scene of numerous battles between the French and the Spaniards for supremacy over this territory. The defense of the city has therefore become one of the main activities for 200 years. In 1586, the city was attacked by the English corsair Sir Francis Drake and completely burned. Another tragedy took place in 1668, when pirate captain John Davis looted the city and killed about sixty of its inhabitants.
In 1672, the Spaniards had the stone fortress of Castillo de San Marcos built to defend the city against increasingly frequent attacks. The construction was worked on for 23 long years, and the inhabitants were convinced that it was not unnecessary work during the attacks of 1702 and 1740. The fortress withstood and was never conquered. In 1845, it was renamed Fort Marion in honor of a revolutionary hero. City St. However, Augustine was subsequently hit by a number of unexpected disasters. One of them was an epidemic of yellow fever in 1821, which killed many immigrants. In 1836, the Seminole War followed, when the Seminole Indians revolted against the white settlers. The result of this war was a significant slowdown in the development of the local economy. Paradoxically, the city did not start to prosper again until the American Civil War after 1861. The end of the war caused an influx of population,
Today Augustine attracts many tourists from all over the world. It is a very pleasant city where you feel like you have gone back in time. The pedestrian zone lined with colonial buildings leads to the center, which is typical of sunny Spain. Although it is quite a problem in North America to come across a site that is older than 100 years, in St. Every history lover will find Augustine on his own. Therefore, this town with only 11,000 inhabitants is a kind of miracle. The population of the city consists largely of Hispanics and Seminole Indians, who now live here in peace with whites and immigrants from all over the world. St. Augustine is the oldest permanently inhabited city in America.
An important person in the development of the city became the co-founder of the oil company Henry Flagler, who came here in 1885. Augustine to build a popular winter resort for the wealthy inhabitants of the north, which was to bring in considerable earnings. Thanks to his capital, he had two luxury hotels built here – the Alcazar Hotel and the beautiful Ponce de Leon Hotel. St. Augustine thus became a sought-after location for the richest men and women of the time. To ensure a smooth arrival in the city, the Florida East Coast Railway was even built between it and New York. Flagler subsequently also contributed to the construction of the city hospital, town hall, several churches and gave the city unceasing prosperity.
Visitors today in St. Augustine can see the colonial Spanish Quarter, which is a kind of museum of living history. There are two authentic period buildings from the 17th century, which give you a unique atmosphere. The woodworking workshop is definitely worth seeing, where the guide will introduce you to artistic carpentry and blacksmithing and describe the individual historical battles that took place here. You can also admire the preserved wooden toys from the colonial period and get acquainted with the methods of joining wood, making benches, tables and building wooden cottages. In the blacksmith’s workshop you can watch the production of a square nail with your own eyes. At that time, blacksmiths were specialized in individual blacksmith crafts. For example, “smith” made nails, “forgeman” forged horses, and “cutler” made swords and sabers.
Among the main sights of St. Today, however, Augustine belongs to the already mentioned fortress Castillo de San Marcos, which was used by the US military until 1899. In 1924 it was declared a national monument and 9 years later it became part of the system of national parks. In 1942, Congress decided to restore its original name, Castillo de San Marcos. Interestingly, the fortress was built from a material called Coquin, which is a bond of crushed sea shells. Today, this historic, 35-foot-high fortress with its accompanying foundations lies in a 10-hectare park and is washed by the sea on one side.
In the dark dungeons of the fortress, it is possible to meet a representative of the period doctor, who willingly and gladly explains to everyone the individual medical procedures that were performed at that time. You can view medical instruments that you would easily mistake for torturous instruments. It should be borne in mind that there was no anesthetic or disinfectant at the time, so the explanation of how limb cutting, veining, skull drilling or tooth tearing were performed at the time is only for a stronger nature. With a little luck, you can witness a cannon shot in the fortress, which will certainly be an unforgettable experience for you, as well as a visit to this breathtaking city.