Saint Augustine (United States)

San Agustín (or Saint Augustine in English) is a city located in the county of Saint John (San Juan) (Florida), United States, in the region known as “First Coast” of Florida. At the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 11,592 residents; and in 2004, the population collected by the US Census is 12,157 residents. Founded in September 1565 by the Spanish explorer and admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, it is the oldest city and port founded by Europeans, continuously occupied in the continental United States.

Foundation of San Agustín

San Agustín is the oldest European settlement occupied today in the US, only San Juan (Puerto Rico) surpasses it as the oldest city of “the United States”. The Spanish had already explored the area in expeditions that took place between 1513 Juan Ponce de León and 1563, but without actually building any stable fortification. However, the presence, in 1564, of a large contingent of French Huguenots, who built a fort at the mouth of the San Juan River, posed a serious threat, which led Spain to the decision to establish a permanent military presence in the area.. That was the reason for the landing of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, who put an end to the establishment of French pirates – there are their tombs – and founded the city of San Agustín de La Florida, on August 28, 1565, forty-two years before it the English established the Jamestown (Virginia) colony, fifty-five years before the Pilgrim Fathers landed.

The place where Menéndez and his family disembarked, Mission de Nombre de Dios, is today owned by the Catholic Church, which maintains and venerates it as the holiest place in North America, as it is the first place in today’s North American territories where it was celebrated. the Holy Mass. It is a spacious and pleasant park for prayer and meditation, careful and wooded, next to the sea, protected by a very high cross, dotted with corners of Marian reference and custodian of the hermitage where the Lady is venerated under the nothing ordinary invocation of ” Our Lady of the Milk “, in an image of the nursing Virgin.

Although there are already traces in the Roman catacombs of the devotion to the Virgin of the Milk, for which Saint Mary is venerated lovingly caring for the body of the Child Jesus and was a devotion spread throughout Europe, it took root with particular intensity in the Spain of the 16th century, where King Felipe III of Spain ordered – it was 1598 – to build a hermitage in his honor.

Connoisseurs and followers of such devotion, the first Spanish settlers consecrated the first hermitage dedicated to the Virgin in what is now North American territory, under the name of “Nuestra Señora de la Leche”, whose image was a copy of the one venerated in Madrid, so that, having been destroyed this, the original, on March 13, 1936, when the Madrid church of San Luis (in today’s Gran Via), where it was located, was devastated by the anti-religious riots of the dawn of The civil war, the replica that is found today in Florida is the closest we have to the one that was a model, although there are also images under the same title in Astorga and in Palas de Rei and even in Pisa and Budapest.

Delivery from Saint Augustine and Florida to the United States of America

Florida was a possession of the United States until 1845 when it became a state. In 1861, the American Civil War began and he joined the Confederate States of America. On January 7, 1861, days before the secession of Florida, state troops seized the fort of San Agustín that was guarded by a small guard. However, federal troops loyal to the US government reoccupied the city (March 11, 1861) and held it under their control during the four years of war.

The colonial constructions of the Spanish era that remain in the city include the fortress of Castillo de San Marcos. The fort successfully repelled British attacks in the 18th century, was occupied by Unionist troops during the Civil War, and later served as a prison for Native Americans. Today the Castillo de San Marcos is a national monument of the United States. In the 19th century, the railroad came to town, and the town became a winter resort for the very wealthy thanks to industrialist Henry Flagler. A number of large mansions and palaces from this era were converted into hotels or given another use, such as Flagler University, the Flagler Institute, and museums.. Flagler continued to build at various points along Florida’s east coast, including his Florida East Coast Railroad whose end point was Key West in 1912.


The city is a tourist attraction, for the rich amount of Spanish colonial-style buildings. In 1938 the Marineland theme park opened south of St. Augustine, becoming one of the first theme parks in Florida and beginning the development of this industry in the following decades.

The series is currently being carried out for TeleWeek, “Looking for my past” that will be released in 2010.

The residents of San Agustín do not hide their pride in their Spanish past, of which there are permanent traces in the urban landscape. And even today the names of the streets denote the past Hispanic presence: the streets of Valencia, Granada, Córdoba, de Soto, Avilés, Cádiz, Zaragoza, the artillery; and the houses with coats of arms, the Military Hospital, the Casa de los Mesa, the Peso de Burgo, the Ximénez-Fatio, the Hita, the Gallegos, and even the cathedral, in which the Spanish and North American shields reign, echo what the city was. And that echo resonates even in local life, since, although it is a city in which the English language prevails, words from colonial Spanish are mixed in the local speech and even life is much more like Spanish than others. American cities: narrow streets, terraces next to bars, parks where children run around, churches and mass of twelve.


The old Spanish city extends along the peninsula that is formed between the bay of Matanzas and the mouth of the San Sebastián River, sheltered, a few miles to the south, by the castle of Matanzas, and to the north, by the imposing mass of the Castillo de San Marcos, over which today, by grace of the North American Administration, the flag of the stars and stripes does not wave, but the white one with the Burgundy cross, in an elegant gesture of respect for the Hispanic past itself.

San Agustín is located at 29 ° 53’39 “North, 81 ° 18’48” West (29.894264, -81.313208) 3.

The city has a total area of 27.8 km², 21.7 km² of land and 6.1 km² of water. The total area of water represents 21.99%.

Access to the Atlantic Ocean through the San Agustín channel of the Matanzas River.


  • Instituto Flagler, with the old Ponce de León hotel.
  • Ghost Tours – Tours of haunted places. They start at the corner of Charlotte Street and Cuna Street.
  • Lightner Museum, in the old Alcázar hotel.


The city has the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, the state government’s school for the blind and deaf.


According to the 2010 census, there were 12,975 people residing in San Agustín. The population density was 392.48 residents / km². Of the 12,975 residents, San Agustín was composed of 84.18% white, 11.61% were African American, 0.4% were Amerindian, 1.25% were Asian, 0.09% were Pacific Islanders, 0.82% were of other races and the 1.64% belonged to two or more races. Of the total population, 5.06% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Saint Augustine (United States)