History is Alive in St. Augustine

  • Guns aloft, Spanish Militia soldiers enter the clearing. Each man looks tense but determined, unsure of the territory but willing to stake his life on it. Indigenous people surround the soldiers, and suddenly it does not seem so easy to take La Florida.

    Scenes like this one aren't just a part of St. Augustine's past - they are part of the present as well. These are the living history scenes that create a real life storybook for visitors, stitching together the pages of the city's founding days. In St. Augustine, when words fall short, interaction, exhibition, and engagement bring these experiences to life for us.

    Fort Mose

    The re-enactors at sites like Fort Mose, located of U.S. 1 Highway North, set out to display the lives of the colonial people. Each one dresses in the appropriate garb for their era and occupation. The soldiers at Fort Mose are adorned in period military dress and carry muskets. They aim to teach each visitor about life for the first free black citizens in North America.

    Fort Mose living history

    Fort Mose hosts Last Saturday Living History events each month where the volunteers not only re-enact battles but re-enact life as it used to be. They teach colonial cooking techniques, maintain a garden, and share stories of what colonial life was like.

    For more info from our Calendar of Events, click here.

    Castillo de San Marcos

    This national monument, located on the bayfront and Castillo Drive, is maintained by the National Park Service and the re-enactors that work there. The Castillo and its volunteers strive to put you in the shoes of the early Spanish settlers through cannon demonstrations, musket firings, and stories of the days when St. Augustine was a fledgling colony of the Spanish crown.

    cipriani cannon day35

    Historic weapons demonstrations, including cannon firings, are every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the fort.

    For more info on the Castillo de San Marcos, click here.

    Colonial Quarter

    Just a short walk across the street from the Castillo you will see a large, wooden tower perched above you; looking out over the bayfront and the Castillo. This tower sits at the Colonial Quarter, which is a living history museum that combines three centuries of history into a two-acre park and museum.

    Colonial Quarter Leather Shop 5x3

    The re-enactors at the Colonial Quarter, located on St. George Street, dedicate themselves to their craft as well. They dress in period costume and immerse you in the culture of their period, whether it's the 16th, 17th, or 18th century.

    For more info on the Colonial Quarter, click here.

    Whether it is experiencing a siege from the British or crafting your own bracelet in the leatherworks shop - at the Colonial Quarter, the idea is the same. The notion that history can transcend the pages of a book and connect the people of yesterday fuels living history volunteers. Seeing and actually experiencing the lives of people from the past unite us with their stories.

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Updated: Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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Visit St. Augustine

Experiencing St. Augustine just got a whole lot easier with the Visit St. Augustine blog. Browse through new and past blog posts to find out more than you ever knew about the oldest city and what exciting new events and happenings are going on.