St. Augustine History and Culture
King Phillip II of Spain named Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, Spain's most experienced admiral, Governor of Florida, and instructed him to explore and to colonize the territory. When Menendez arrived off the coast of Florida, it was August 28, 1565, the Feast Day of St. Augustine. Eleven days later, he and his 600 soldiers and settlers came ashore at the site of the Timucuan Indian village of Seloy with banners flying and trumpets sounding. He hastily fortified the fledgling village and named it St. Augustine.
Utilizing brilliant military maneuvers, Menendez destroyed the French garrison on the St. Johns River and, with the help of a hurricane, also defeated the French fleet. With the coast of Florida firmly in Spanish hands, he then set to work building the town, establishing missions to the Indians for the Church, and exploring the land.
Thus, St. Augustine was founded forty-two years before the English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, and fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts - making it the oldest permanent European settlement on the North American continent.
From Spanish colony to British rule to statehood, St. Augustine's long history and varied cultural influences are evident in its streets, buildings and the people who call it home. St. Augustine's historic sites and museums are great places to learn more about the history and culture of this unique city.
Source - oldcity.com