Thursday, April 2, 2009

Plaza de la Constitucion - St. Augustine, Florida

The historic Plaza de la Constitucion in St. Augustine is America's oldest public park.

Established by Spanish Royal Ordinances in 1573, this park was in use for 30 years before the first English settler set foot at Jamestown, Virginia, and nearly 50 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymoth Rock, Massachusetts.

Throughout the Spanish era of St. Augustine's history, the public and government buildings of the city faced the plaza, which still retains the design specified in the original ordinances calling for its establishment. Archaeologists have found the remains of a well dating back to the 1600s in the Plaza de la Constitucion and it is the only known park in the United States with a monument dedicated to a foreign constitution, the Spanish Constitution of 1812.

Today the Plaza remains a popular park in St. Augustine. The shade of its trees cool visitors to the nation's oldest city as they explore the numerous historic attractions of the old Spanish settlement. Among the structures still facing the Plaza is the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine, built in 1793-1797 and the Government House, built in 1706-1713.

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