September 8, 1565 that Don Pedro Menendez de Avilés along with 600 voyagers stepped onshore here with the mission to stake a permanent claim on behalf of Spain by founding a city here. In honor of the saint whose feast day fell on the day he first sighted land, August 28, Menéndez named the colonial settlement St. Augustine. The landing site is known to be along the waterfront at what is today the properties of the Mission Nombre de Dios and the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.
The historical re-enactment of the landing of Menéndez’ at Mission Nombre de Dios, 27 Ocean Ave., will be held on Saturday, September 10 starting at 10:00am. But just as it was for the city, the landing is just the start of a morning filled with pageantry and tradition.
The reenactment is produced with great historical accuracy by La Compañía de Santiago (The Company of St. James), a member unit of Florida Living History, Inc. This is truly as close as one can get to experiencing the sights and sounds of the day the city was founded. Immediately following the landing, as was the case in 1565, Mass will be celebrated at an outdoor altar on the site. This year the Mass will be celebrated by Father Terrance Morgan.
Following Mass, Dr. Michael Gannon, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Florida and Knight Commander of Spain’s Order of Isabella the Catholic, will offer a lecture on the founding of the city entitled The Altar Was Older Than the Hearth. The lecture is funded by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council through the National Endowment for the Humanities. The lecture will be in the Prince of Peace Church located on the grounds of the Mission Nombre de Dios.
Location: Mission Nombre de Dios
Directions: Located off San Marco Avenue and various locations in Historic St. Augustine
Hours: Festivites begin at 9 a.m.