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Walking Tour of St. Augustine Part 2
Continuing on your walking tour go to see the Colonial workers at the reconstructed Colonial Spanish Quarter (the entrance is via the Triay House at 29 St. George St) go about their work as if it’s just another day in the mid 18th century. Clad in period dress, gardeners tend to their vegetables; woodworkers repair furniture under a thatched hut; and blacksmiths fashion nails. Note the citrus tree planted by the Spanish to aid in the prevention of scurvy! You might find Senora Gallegos cooking dinner on a fogon (Mediterranean stove) in the two room Casa de Gallegos. Casa de Ribera is decorated with antique furnishings, and Casa de Gomez is a Spanish soldier’s dwelling with a small store. Other noteworthy structures in the village are the Hita/Gonzalez Houses and the coquina De Mesa/Sanchez Site, where costumed interpreters perform various household chores.
On the west side of the block at the corner of Cuna Street is the Sanchez de Ortigosa House. Nearby are the reconstructed wooden buildings comprising the Peso de Burgo/Pellicer House, occupied by a Minorcan family 1763-83.
Proceed along St. George, enjoying the warm tones of ancient coquina stonework and the glimpses of courtyards between many of the buildings. At 105 St. George is the Sanchez House, a restored coquina and masonry building (now home to a crystal shop); house tours are offered.
As you cross Hypolita Street, look out for the sightseeing tram that shuffles by accompanied by clanging bells.
Glance down Treasury Street, one of the narrowest streets in the Old City. On the left, the Pena-Peck House occupies the corner of Treasury and St. George; built in 1690s for the Spanish treasurer, it was later occupied by a British doctor whose wife often used the house for high society get-togethers. The art and furnishings reflect an extravagant lifestyle.
The tower on your left is part of the large Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine, which faces the Plaza de la Constiucion. Founded in 1565, the parish holds what are said to be the country' s oldest parish records, dating from 1594. The present Cathedral was built in 1797 in the Spanish Mission style; following a fire in 1887 it was restored and its adjacent Spanish Renaissance style bell tower was added. Inside the church, oil paintings are replicasof those found in the Vatican' s Pauline Chapel. Victorian stained glass and sculpted marble also adorn the interior. You might choose to visit the church later, as the route circles back this way. To be continued. . . . .
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