St. Augustine is getting an early start on celebrating its 450th birthday. Although the milestone isn’t until September 2015, the nation's oldest city is gearing up for three years of exciting events leading up to the jubilee.
From Oct. 29, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014, at the St. Augustine Visitor Center, an exhibit called “New World in the Eyes of Explorers” illustrates through documents and art the cultural collision that occurred when European explorers and Native Americans discovered each other on the shores of the “New World.”
Beginning with Ponce de Leon's quest for the Fountain of Youth that led him to Florida in 1513, the state’s shores have been a long sought destination for conquistadors and kings. In 1565, it was Pedro Menendez of Aviles, Spain, who first stepped onto the soil in St. Augustine and proclaimed it for his homeland. The first Catholic mass was held at what is now the Mission de Nombre de Dios by Menendez and his men.
From the 300 year-old Castillo de San Marcos coquina fortress to the Oldest House, St. Augustine is filled with historical relics of a by-gone era.
Info: St. Augustine Visitors Information Center, 10 W. Castillo Dr, 904-825-1000; http://staugustine-450.com