Colonial Spanish Quarter, Saint Augustine
This is a really nice little walk back into time. The people are dressed in period costume and there is an herbalist who tells you what herbs where used for what ailments, a blacksmith who shows you how to forge steel, a carpenter and others. It really is very interesting and inexpensive (6 $) for adults and worth a stroll.
pictured is the city gate which is the entrance to the old city of st. augustine. through this gate you can walk down st. george street (pedestrian mall) to visit many of the attractions, art galleries, and restaurants of old st. augustine.
This is a separate section bordering St. George St and Castillo Drive. It has 10 buildings/homes of what life would be like in those times back in 1740's era of Spaniard living. There is a leatherworker store, blacksmith shop, candlemaker, tavern, scribe, and a home to tour as some of the things to see/do. These all have authentic styled costumed people describing the times and life of residents. The tour of the home was not much, but the rest was a nice depiction of times of old.
It is open 9-5:30 daily, and fees is $6.95, unless you buy combo ticket from visitor center that includes Governor house also for $8, or in our case $6 for seniors.
The downtown area of St. Augustine reminds me distinctly of New Orleans with a similar style of buildings and many covered 2nd level porches. Perhaps I should say that New Orleans reminds me of St. Augustine as it was there first! St. Augustine was first established around 1565 and as previously mentioned is the oldest city in the U.S.
There are so many quaint shops and resturants that to miss spending time in this area would be akin to visiting Paris without seeing the Eiffle Tower! Just wander at your own leisure, stop where you wish, or just sit in the open areas of the pedestrian streets and watch the world go by... Either way, your time here will be relaxing and memorable!
The living history museum is in the center of the Colonial Spanish Quarter. It consists of houses that belonged to various residents during the First Spanish Period and the Taberna del Gallo. The house have been made into mini-museums where you can see displays of artifacts and furnishings from the period and artisans in period dress using old tools to work leather, be a blacksmith, and other period activities. Exhibits include: The Gallegos House which shows a typical home of the era; the Gomez House which is set up as a leatherworking shop; Carpintero which is a carpentry area; The Herrero House which is set up as a balcksmith shop; the de Hita House; and the Taberna del Gallo (see separate tip under night life). They also have an open air Ramada for special shows.
The Colonial Spanish Quarter is a very interesting place - a bunch of very knowledgable white men who are dressed up like colonial Spaniards from back in the day. If you have any questions about anything from back then, here's where you are going to find your answers - - from the ingredients that compose the ink with which the scribe writes to what kind of games they played. A lot of care has been taken to make everything as historically acurate as possible, and the guides (or historical interpreters) are really into the characters they represent.
It was a great example of living history, and I could see children really enjoying this.
The city gates, located at the northern end of touristy St. George Street, were once the only land entrance to St. Augustine. The existing gate towers were built in 1808, though connected to the Castillo via a modern replica of the early wooden wall. The walls were originally constructed around the city in 1704, after the devastating attack by the English in 1702. In fact, three lines of defense guarded the land approach to the north of the city: farthest north was Fort Mose with a wall across the peninsula, at about Pine street was the second defensive line, and the third line stretched from the Castillo across the existing city gates and to the San Sebastian River. Another wall is said to have run south from the area of the city gates along present-day Cordova Street.
The reconstructed Santo Domingo Redoubt is located just west of the gate near the intersection of Cordova and Orange Streets. The square fortification, which allowed good fields of fire for cannons, is marked with a descriptive historical marker.
This is one city block with nine historic homes on it..It is 400 years of history nestled among courtyards and gardens. The homes span from 1790-1910.