|Old City Gates|
The center of the city today is The Plaza de la Constitución. Created in 1573, The plaza was the heart of the original settlement flanked on the west side by The Government House (built 1713)- home to Spanish colonial government and on the north side by the Cathedral Basilica de St. Augustine (built 1797).
|Government House from Plaza de la Constitución|
|Side courtyard of the Government House|
|Government House main entrance|
|Main lobby of the Government House|
|Government House Courtyard|
|By Gillfoto (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons|
|Main alter in the Basilica|
|Roof and balcony of the Basilica|
|Alter to St. Augustine|
Most of the houses along St George's Street date to the mid 1700's. Today they have been converted into stores and restaurants. The shops range from touristy to high end and the restaurants from pizza to fine dining.
What they have in common is that they are very fine examples of Spanish style architecture. They have main houses with courtyards. Kitchens were usually separate buildings to keep the heat and smoke away from the main building. Here are some of them:
|St. George's Street|
There are also two historical recreations along St, George's Street. One is the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the United States. Built in the early 1700's it became a school when it's owner married and converted it. It was also the first co-ed school, taking in girls in 1788.
|The Amazing Ms. D at the schoolhouse|
|Entering the Schoolhouse from the garden|
|The school bell|
|Tribute to Latin American educators and politicians|
Nearby is the Colonial Quarter. This recreation presents a tour through history. It is divided in sections representing the significant chapters in St. Augustine History - 16th century, 17th, century, 18th century Spanish and 18th century British. Each section of the grounds has examples of buildings, businesses and social life. I strongly suggest taking the tour, my guide had a wonderful sense of humor and a trove of information.
|17th century armory|
|17th century blacksmith|
|18th century market|
|18th century leather shop|
Tickets for the Colonial Quarter are $12.99 for adults and $6.99 for children. However I bought a combination ticket for the Colonial Quarter and The Castille de San Marcos at the San Augustine Visitors Cents for $19.99.
There is a lot to do and see in the Old City of St. Augustine. You can spend several days just exploring this part of town.