St. Augustine, Florida, on Florida’s Historic Coast, is America’s oldest city. Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is a bustling city with an abundance of stunningly beautiful Spanish Colonial Renaissance-style architecture. The azure blue Florida sky provides the perfect backdrop to these majestic historical buildings. Stark white buildings, topped with terracotta roofs, line the downtown streets of this fabulously charming city. If you’re not looking up when in St. Augustine, here is just a taste of what you may be missing…
Beautiful Spanish Colonial Renaissance-style Architecture
This magnificent beauty is the Grace United Methodist Church. Built in 1887 by Henry Flagler, it was built using the same architects and builders responsible for creating the famous Ponce de León Hotel, also located in St. Augustine.
You don’t need to be religious to understand and appreciate the significance of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. Constructed over five years between 1793 and 1797, this cathedral is America’s oldest Catholic parish, and the seat of the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine.
You won’t want to limit yourself to just looking up outside. The inside of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine is equally as beautiful. The stained glass windows in this cathedral may be prettiest I’ve ever seen.
Memorial Presbyterian Church is another St. Augustine building constructed by Henry Flagler. Built in honour of his daughter, who died from complications of childbirth, this gorgeous church holds the Flagler family mausoleum.
St. Augustine Soars To New Heights
This 1927 building originally housed St. Augustine’s central bank. Today, the Treasury on the Plaza, St. Augustine’s only skyscraper, is this city’s premier wedding and event destination.
St. Augustine’s Lightner Museum, is home to both the museum, and city government offices. Located in the former Alcazar Hotel (built in 1888 by Henry Flagler), the Lightner Museum houses Victorian-era antiques, including a current exhibit (until January 2018) featuring original costumes from the beloved television show, Downton Abbey.
Rich in beauty and history, the inside of the Lightner Museum is a sight to behold. Now home to Cafe Alcazar, don’t miss looking up from the bottom of the former Alcazar swimming pool, once known as the largest indoor pool in the world.
The landmark Casa Monica Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in the United States. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, the Casa Monica Hotel, with its red-tiled roof, white facade, and intricate balconies, is another example of the extraordinary architecture found in St. Augustine.
Built in 1888 by Henry Flagler, as one of a series of luxury resorts on Florida’s east coast, the Hotel Ponce de León later became the home of Florida’s Flagler College. Now a National Historic Landmark, the Hotel Ponce de León was one of America’s first buildings to have electricity.
A tour of Flagler College will take your breath away. Looking up at the painted dome ceiling, and being surrounded by intricately carved wood and stunning architecture, gives visitors a sense of the commitment to detail and high standards of the builder, Henry Flagler. Both the interior, and the exterior, of Flagler College are equally as beautiful, for very obvious reasons.
Never Stop Looking Up
You never know what you will see, during your journeys, by simply looking up. Like this wonderful weather vane over top the Red Train Trolley Tours building in St. Augustine. So next time, whether you are discovering your own city, or discovering a brand new destination…look up!