Fun Facts about Saint Augustine, FL
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés founded the city in 1565. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés was an explorer and admiral, born in the Asturias region of Spain. He became the first governor of Florida in 1565 and remained in office until his death in 1574 from typhus.
St. Augustine was the first Spanish settlement successfully established in Florida; it was also the most critical city in the region for almost three centuries. The location of the settlement was chosen by the Spanish because it was easy to defend, and there was an easily accessible source of freshwater.
St. Augustine has the narrowest street in the USA. The road is called Treasury Street, and it is just 7 feet wide. The road connects the Royal Spanish Treasury to the area where the ships dock on the bay, and it was deliberately made to be narrow so that thieves would find it difficult to remove and escape with chests of gold from the treasury.
Following a long period of neglect, the historic city’s modern renaissance began in the 1880s when the railroad tycoon, Henry Flagler built several decadent hotels and promoted St Augustine as a winter resort for the northern elite. He also went on to build schools, churches, and a hospital in the city.
St Augustine has only suffered one direct hit by a hurricane in modern times; that was when Hurricane Dora struck in 1964. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused widespread flooding in downtown St. Augustine when it passed by.
St. Augustine is home to the Castillo de San Marcos, which is the oldest masonry fort in North America. The fort is also the only one from the 17th century in the continental US that is still standing. Visiting the fort is one of the most exciting things to do in St Augustine, Florida, if you ever visit the city.
Despite being attacked many times, and besieged twice, the Castillo de San Marcos has never been conquered. Control of the fort has switched peacefully between the Spanish, British, and the US. During the American Civil War, it was controlled by the Confederacy.
The historic building is claimed to be the oldest wooden school building in the USA. It is not known precisely when it was built, but the building appeared on tax records in 1716