Ranchos Camulos

Ranchos Camulos "Oldest House," St. Augustine Town Plan Historic District
Photograph courtesy of Florida Dept. of Commerce, Division of Tourism; Robert M. Overton, photographer
The St. Augustine Town Plan Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, encompasses the site of the oldest continuously occupied European and African American settlements in the United States. Part of Ponce de León's 1513 claim to La Florida, St. Augustine was the stie of a Spanish military base estalished in 1565 by Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. The town of St. Augustine soon grew around the fort and became the seat of Spanish power in Florida. During the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, free blacks and slaves found Florida a haven–the Spanish Crown granted refuge to blacks if they embraced Catholicism. Today the district retainst he distincitive plan typical of a 16th century Spanish Colonial walled town. The colonial buildings in the district date from the 1703 to 1821 period. Among the most noted features in the district are the Plaza de la Constitución, the colonial community's focal point (King Street), the Oldest House, a traditional Spanish Colonial residence built circa 1706 and the oldest surviving residence in St. Augustine, the Basilica Cathedral of St. Augustine, which incorporates the 1797 parish church and is one of the oldest Catholic religious buildings in the United States, and the 1883 Villa Zorayda, an exotic Moorish Revival residence with courtyards and towers. The boundaries of the Historic District are Orange St., San Marcos St., the Mantanzas River, St. Francis St., and Cordova St.

St. Augustine Town Plan Historic District is also featured in our Along the Georgia-Florida Coast travel itinerary.

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Last Modified: Monday, 12-Sept-03 17:06:15EST