Saint Augustine town is the first European settlement in the entire United States of America

Saint Augustine town is the first European settlement in the entire United States of America

Saint Augustine town is the first European settlement in the entire United States of America

 

Por  • 16 Janeiro, 2011 • ESTADOS UNIDOS DA AMÉRICASAINT AUGUSTINE • Comentários (4) •

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It was a surprise to find out that the oldest town in the United States has the same name of the saint that inspired my mom to name myself when I was born: Saint Augustine. This is not a common name in the USA. Maybe that is why I like the USA so much? Maybe I am influenced by this Saint? My second name is Thomas, so at least half of me.

Flagler College

Flagler College

Vista da Cathedral Place

Cathedral Place

Always trying to be politically correct, Americans avoid saying that Saint Augustine is the first town in the USA. Founded in 1565 for a Spanish conquistador, they prefer to call it the first European settlement in the country, in a way to respect the native Americans that live in the American continent on a more nomad way but still for thousands of years.

This part of the country, which is Florida state, was the stage for several different conflicts. It has a confusing history. It was colonized first by the Spaniards, then the French, and finally the English. The Spanish settlers were the first and the last European people to colonize it before its independence from Europe, which happened about 100 years after the American independence. Florida became an American state only in 1821. Saint Agustine therefore became part of the USA at the same time.

Flagler College

Flagler College

Plaza de la Constitución

Plaza de la Constitución

My trip to Saint Augustine was a quick trip, as I tend to do always. Travelers in Florida do know this little town as a name, so it is not an unusual destination. It is market as a historical place to visit in most of the tourism guides. As I am always curious, on my way to the High Point Furniture market in North Carolina, I did a quick stop to check it out as it was not that far from I95 highway that connects all the East coast.destaque_00000410

It only took me an hour for the express checking and cureosear, as they say in Spanglish, a little bit. It was worth it. Very beautiful architecture. It is difficult to find in the USA historical places, as most of the time contractors demolish old buildings and build the new high rises. Anyways, Saint Augustine is a good town for a lay down vacation with cozy restaurants, and lots of history, altogether with white sand beaches not that far from downtown.

Catedral de Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine’s cathedral

Catedral de Saint Augustine

Unfortunately, there are too many signs and it is all so clean and organized that it lacks a little the genuine aspect. It does not feel that the town is really 500 years old. In the USA there are replicas of old buildings that may look older than the ones you see there that it feels a little bit that maybe those constructions were new, not 500 year old, whatever. What matters is that it is very beautiful and the maintenance is perfect and resistant to hurricanes. There are several picturesque places to visit, beyond parks, and museums.

The most interesting historical constructions in my point of view are:  the first Catholic church, dated 1865 and the Constitution square, which is the oldest public space in the USA. It feels very good to walk through the streets of Saint Augustine and appreciate the old buildings with different French, Spanish, or British styles. Several conflicts between Christians and Catholics have happened during the colonial period. This also explains the variety on the construction architecture you can see there. The City Hall is the most curious one. It has medieval and modern American architecture style at the same time.

Kings Street

Kings Street

Em frente ao Lightner Museum

Posing in front of the Lightner Museum

In a state where most towns look like big malls, skyscrapers, highways, full of parking lots and confusing street names run by numbers, and lots of driving, this well preserved first European settlement in the USA is a good option to get a break from structured modern life. Obviously, Saint Augustine names everything there, including a bank! Good bless you,  Saint Augustine.

Santo Agostinho tem um banco nos EUA!

Bank of Saint Augustine

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Sobre o autor: 

Escritor e profissional de comércio internacional. Viaja pelo mundo fazendo negócios. Quase sempre em viagens expressas, mas ficando nos melhores hotéis, conhecendo bons restaurantes, sendo convidado para festas exclusivas e recebendo dicas de locais. Saiba mais na sua página.

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4 Respostas para A cidade mais antiga da América

 
  1. Augustine meaning and name origin

    Augustine \a(u)-gusti-ne, aug(us)-tine\ as a boy’s name (also used as girl’s name Augustine), is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Augustine is “great, magnificient”. Diminutive of August; English form of the Latin name Augustinus, which is itself a derivative of Augustus. Saint Augustine of Hippo (fifth century) was perhaps the greatest of the Fathers of the Christian Church. He formulated the principles followed by the numerous medieval communities named after him as Austin canons, friars, and nuns. In England, Saint Augustine (sixth century) was the first archbishop of Canterbury famous for the frank “Confessions”, in which he says, “Oh God, make me chaste – but not yet”.

    Augustine has 11 variant forms: Agoston, Aguistin, Agustin, Augie, Augustin, Augustyn, Augy, Austen, Austin, Austyn and Avgustin.

    Augustine is a somewhat popular first name for men (#806 out of 1220) and an even more popular surname or last name for all people (#2379 out of 88799). (1990 U.S. Census)

  2. PIERRE

    “Augustine” é de origem francesa, caro amigo.
    Em tese, esta palavra não existe em inglês.

  3. Prezado Luis,
    Obrigado pelo seu questionamento e por ser nosso leitor. O diferencial do nosso site é que aqui expressam-se as opinioes e observaçoes de cada viajante livremente, as quais variam bastante de um viajante para outro.
    No meu caso, considero sim as pessoas de cultura americana como sendo sempre preocupadas em ser politicamente corretas e respeitar as diferencas. Aqui, neste texto, o que que estou dizendo é que, de forma a respeitar os povos indigenas que habitavam os estados unidos antes da chegada dos brancos, eles consideram Saint Augustine o primeiro ‘assentamento europeu’ nos Estados Unidos da America e nao a primeira ‘vila’ ou ‘cidade’, pois antes da chegada dos brancos, existiam outras sociedades ali naquele território.
    A questão do “progresso” eu menciono entre aspas, pois estou na verdade questionando se este desenvolvimento todo, sacrificando edificios históricos, compensa o desenvolvimento urbanistico e arquitetônico, mas neste caso, não estou falando de politica e sim, de arquitetura e urbanismo.
    Vale ressaltar que muitas cidades do sul dos Estados Unidos foram destruídas durante a Guerra de Secessão, além do mais muitas construções eram feitas de madeira, então não há muita construção com mais de 200 anos nos EUA. Também pela própria história, pois, antes da independência, assim como o Canadá, a Argentina, o Uruguai e o sul do Brasil, eram regiões frias e que foram pouco colonizadas pelos europeus entre 1500 e 1800. Diferentemente das regiões tropicais das américas que foram intensivamente colonizadas pelos espanhóis e portugueses nesse período.
    All the best and God bless you.
    Cheers
    Agustin

  4. LUCIANO

    Lamentável e controverso esse “Sempre politicamente corretos” e depois “É difícil encontrar locais históricos nos Estados Unidos, pois muito foi destruído em função do “progresso””. -Pergunta: Destruir em função do progresso os locais históricos é politicamente correto?

    O site é muito interessante, mas deve se ter cuidado ao expor fatos e associá-los com nossos pontos de vista. Na medida do possível seria bom ignorarmos este último.

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Augustin Caceres

VP of Operations for LEGroup Industries Speaks fluent English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.

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