Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mission San Luis in Tallahassee

One of the most fascinating historic sites in Florida's capital city is Mission San Luis, a 17th century Franciscan mission, Spanish fort and Apalachee Indian village.

Located on a hilltop west of today's downtown area, the mission site is now a park managed by the State of Florida. It includes reconstructions of Spanish houses, the mission chapel, a massive Native American council house and the Spanish fort that defended the complex.

Mission San Luis was the western capital of Spanish Florida during the latter half of the 17th century. Unlike St. Augustine, which was constructed using a European plan, San Luis was built in a unique combination of European and Native American styles.

The site was occupied from the mid-1600s until 1704, when it was evacuated in the face of British-led raids on the missions of North Florida. Unlike many such sites, however, the location of Mission San Luis remained known through the years. Early settlers reported finding old Spanish cannon at the site and 20th century archaeologists were able to identify many key areas of the mission.

To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/sanluis.

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