St. Augustine (Spanish:San Agustín) is a city in the Southeastern United States, on the Atlantic coast of northeastern Florida. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, it is the oldest continuously occupied European-established settlement within the borders of the continental United States.
The county seat of St. Johns County St. Augustine is part of Florida’s First Coast region and the Jacksonville metropolitan area. According to the 2010 census, the city population was 12,975. The United States Census Bureau’s 2013 estimate of the city’s population was 13,679, while the urban area had a population of 71,379 in 2012.
St. Augustine was founded on September 8, 1565, by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida’s first governor. He named the settlement “San Agustín”, as his ships bearing settlers, troops, and supplies from Spain had first sighted land in Florida eleven days earlier on August 28, the feast day of St. Augustine. The city served as the capital of Spanish Florida for over 200 years. It was designated as the capital of British East Florida when the territory briefly changed hands between Spain and Britain.
Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1819, and St. Augustine was designated the capital of the Florida Territory upon ratification of the Adams-Onís Treaty in 1821. The Florida National Guard made the city its headquarters that same year. The territorial government moved and made Tallahassee the capital in 1824. Since the late 19th century, St. Augustine’s distinct historical character has made the city a major tourist attraction.
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