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St Augustine, Florida

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Flagler College, formerly Ponce de León Hotel, in St AugustineFlagler College, formerly Ponce de León Hotel, in St Augustine
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St Augustine is a city in St Johns County, on the east coast of central Florida. Founded by the Spanish in 1565, St Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European-established city in continental United States. Today it has a npopulation of about 12,000.

The area around St Augustine was first explored in 1513 by the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, who became the Governor of Puerto Rico. While the French explored the area in 1562, and established the settlement of Fort Caroline in 1564, it was the Spanish that established St Augustine in 1565.

Tower of the Cathedral Basilica of St AugustineTower of the Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine
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That same year the French troops at Fort Caroline attempted to attack St Augustine. However their plans were thwarted by a storm, enabling the Spanish to counterattack, taking over Fort Caroline and renamed it San Mateo. Most of the French troops were executed, leading to the Spanish calling the inlet, Matanzas, meaning "slaughter."

In 1568 the French retaliated by attacking the Spanish at the former Fort Caroline, and massacred the Spanish troops in a similar fashion. Subsequent expeditions by the French were unable to eject the Spanish from the area.

Then in 1586, the British under Sir Francis Drake, pinning the blame for the disappearance of the Roanoke colony of English fishermen on the Spanish, attacked and burned St Augustine, driving the surviving settlers out of the area. However, he abandoned the area due to insufficient resources. In 1668 another English privateer Robert Searle attacked and plundered St Augustine, forcing the Spanish to beef up their defences. The 1763 Treaty of Paris gave St Augustine to the British in exchange of Havana to the Spanish. It returned to Spanish control in 1784, but was eventually ceded to the United States in the 1819 Adams-Onís Treaty.

Old Mill in St AugustineOld Mill in St Augustine
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Old City Gate, St AugustineOld City Gate, St Augustine
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Fort Matanzas and Castillo de San Marcos are today National Monuments of the United States connected to the early history of San Augustine.

Visiting St Augustine, Florida

St Augustine can be reached on Interstate 95, turning off at Exit 318 and continuing east on Charles Usinas Memorial Highway (State Route 16).

Places of Interest in St Augustine, Florida

  1. Alligator Farm Zoological Park
  2. Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum
  3. First Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum
  4. Flagler Collge
  5. Florida's Oldest House
  6. Fort Mose Historic State Park
  7. Fountain of Youth
  8. Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse
  9. San Sebastian Winery
  10. St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum

National Monuments in St Augustine

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