Friday, March 18, 2011

Glimpses and Fragments

The people of St. Augustine are gearing up for 2013, the year that marks
 the 500th anniversary
 of Ponce de Leon's 1513 landing on their shores.
Following Columbus' discovery of the New World
that reached the Bahamas, Cuba, and Hispaniola in 1492-93,
 de Leon explored the coast near St. Augustine,
naming this newly discovered land "La Florida."

On September 8, 1565, with banners flying, trumpets sounding, artillery booming,
 and 600 soldiers and settlers cheering, Pedro Menendez, of Spain, set foot on Florida's shore.
In honor of the Saint whose feast day it was when he first sighted land,
Menendez named the town they founded "St. Augustine."

St. Augustine of  Hippo, 354-430 A. D. of the Roman Africa Province
    ~~figure from Potter's Wax Museum on King Street, St. Augustine, FL

As I stepped onto the cobblestone streets of our nation's oldest city,
I hoped to uncover ancient remnants, textures, and links to history.
The old town didn't disappoint.
In spite of its multi-colored, many-layered venues for every kind of tourist,
 I was able to assemble a little tapestry of pictures to satisfy my penchant for the 16th century.

A water vessel at the Oldest House Museum...

...coquina walls and tabby floors in the Gonzalez-Alvarez home at 14 St. Francis Street.

The Spanish crest on the town's centerpiece, Castillo de San Marcos.

In 1668, English pirates sacked St. Augustine, but failed to capture the wooden fort.
In 1669 Queen Regent Mariana of Spain ordered the construction of a stone fort in St. Augustine.
The Castillo de San Marcos was built of coquina, a limestone conglomerate of shellstone
 quarried on nearby Anastasia Island.

Chapel seating at the stone fort...

...prayer candles at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine, founded in September of 1565...

...ancient construction and graffiti.

I walked Aviles Street, the oldest avenue and art district, stopping at
 La Herencia for delicious plantain soup and empanadas...


...browsed through scrolls, inks, and herrero arts...

...chatted with de hita in a two-room house...
...sipped wine at the Taberna del Gallo in the Colonial Spanish Quarter,

...and tasted new vintages from San Sebastian vineyards.

...a tiny sampling of the massive menu
 St. Augustine and its inhabitants offer its visitors.
Thanks to the Old Town Trolley,
we enjoyed easy parking and transportation
 along the narrow streets of this truly historic town.


RuneE said...

Local history is always interesting, especially when it can be seen in a larger context - as this one can. Well told and shown!

B. Meandering said...

I enjoyed this stroll through history with you. I've come to appreciate our history more by teaching American literature. Lit and history are much more entwined than I thought when sitting in high school history class.
The pictures capture the essence of the places and artifacts--wonderful photography.

I enjoyed your post about the bridge in the mountains. It's been too long since I was in the Blue Ridge Mts.--I want to go back an pull over at the side of the road.:) I never thought of graffiti from that perspective. Hmmm--really made me think.

It's good to have you back.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

How wonderful Becky,. and simply gorgeous!!! I love that shot of the urn.. and inside the chapel.. your simplicity at it's best!!!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and glad you had a great trip... ciao xxxx Julie

mermaid gallery said...

I love the patina of age as well...even with people!...that big clay pot is gorgeous. Looks like an interesting town in La Florida....

Dimple said...

Hi Becky,
I love your historical posts, you have a knack for being a tour guide! The glimpses of beauty you have shown are wonderful!

S. Etole said...

You can almost feel the textures of these walks and walls and hear the footsteps of history.

mimi said...

Looks heavenly... I enjoyed a glimpse into your adventures!

Stacey Dawn said...

Wow - what an adventure!


It sounds like you had an amazing trip. Hope your transition home is smooth. Thanks for your comment this morning . . . we missed you while you were gone.

Wouldn't you love to have that water vessel in your yard, or on your front porch!


Kaybe said...

You uncovered the real soul of the city.

Take good care,


Leslie said...

It's such a lovely place, and your photos certainly do it justice!

Jeanne said...


What a fantastic post! History and beautiful photography...a perfect combination. You have a great eye for light and composition. I find photography is a great way to get the most out new places. I can see you do too!

Thanks for your comment on my postcard post....yours is on it's way :)

Jeanne xx

Donna said...

Becky...what a fabulous post!!! I feel like I have just been on a trip...don't pinch me awake! Wonderful pictures!!!

rosaria said...

You have such a great eye! I love how you chose the objects to feature, not the architecture. So much to relearn.

TSL @ Living In Art said...

The chapel is my absolute favorite image. Sigh.

Pooch Purple Reign said...

wow very cool. beautiful photos becky
~laura xx

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi dear Becky
Just popped in to say thanks for the lovely comment.. I still haven't seen the moon.. been raining cats and dogs.. hoping for tonight..

Have a fab week.. xxx Julie

Shellbelle said...

Oh Becky, you captured the very soul of St. Augustine! The history is so rich and you managed to block out the touristy stuff. Absolutely stunning photography, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed seeing this Florida treasure through your eyes.

I'm going to have to send Sheila over to see this post, she'll love it!


Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

You have captured it beautifully! Oh the history on that little spit of land!

Jeanne said...

Hi Becky

Sending a little Blog Love your way...

Have a great day!!

Jeanne xx