In 1513, Spanish ships moored to the shores of the southernmost state of modern America. The conquistadors declared that this land is now the property of the Spanish crown, called it Florida. Redigo talks about places where it is easy to find out how the land, inhabited five centuries ago by Indians, has turned into the most prosperous state, began to launch space shuttles and sheltered Ernest Hemingway and several dozen of his cats.
The city of St. Augustine without exaggeration can be called legendary. In 1513 on this site the Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon descended from the ship, calling this region Florida and declaring it the property of Spain. The fortress and the first European settlement arose later, in 1564. And they were founded by the Spaniard, Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles.
A little later, Fort San Marco was built, which protected residents from pirates. Now it is possible to walk through the rooms where they stored food, powder, and look into soldiers’ bedrooms. The main attractions of the historic quarter — the oldest house, built in 1700, and the oldest in the US wooden building of the school
Less ancient, but no less interesting places in the city are two large buildings in the style of the Spanish Renaissance: the Lightner Museum and the Flagler College. Now in the first there is a collection of glass, crystal and porcelain, and in the second, actually, an educational institution. However, originally two bright buildings with turrets, balconies and beautiful gardens were built by railroad magnate Henry Flagler as hotels (they were called «Alcazar» and «Ponce de Leon») for wealthy aristocrats.
Villa Hemingway in Key West
The island of Key West is interesting because it is the southernmost point of the United States. It leads to an amazing 11-kilometer bridge, «walking» from Miami along a chain of tiny dot-islands.
Here is the best of all existing museums of Ernest Hemingway. The writer moved to the islet in the 30’s, bought a house here and wrote the immortal «Snow Kilimanjaro.» Hemingway loved to fish, traveled on his yacht to Cuba (to her from the island only 150 km).
The writer’s house is turned into a museum, his personal belongings are stored there, and 40 cats live in the courtyard, descendants of furry favorites «old Ham».
Henry Flagler Museum
Snow-white mansion on a green lawn, palm trees — this is the way the winter residence of Henry Flagler, the railroad magnate, the founder of the world-famous company Standard Oil. It was he who at the beginning of the XX century turned the east coast of Florida into a place of rest for the rich and famous.
The building, in which there are 55 rooms, was built in 1902. In addition to the master suites, living rooms, dining rooms, a luxurious ballroom, almost the entire second floor of the mansion was occupied by guest rooms, equipped with the latest technology. Today they are all open for inspection.
Mr. Flagler built this house as a wedding present for his third wife Mary Lily Kenan. They came here from New York for the winter. They were brought to their house in a private car, which is now stored right there, on the territory of the museum. Many years after the death of a businessman, his grandson decided to turn the house into a museum in memory of his grandfather.
Kennedy Space Center
The space center is located on the island of Merritt. From here, as well as from nearby Cape Canaveral, the American space vehicles start. The bus tour takes about three hours. On the way, the driver performs the role of a guide, telling details about the space center. At each of the stops you can spend as much time as you want, and then just take the next bus and follow along the route.
The first stop is at the observation deck (or tower), from where the missile launching point is visible. A wide road leads to it, along which a special installation (it can also be seen) weighing several tons carries spacecraft from the assembly shop to the launch site at a speed not exceeding 1.6 km / h. The second bus stop takes place near the museum complex «Apollo-Saturn V». The third stop is a complex where American modules of international space stations (ISS) are assembled. Here you can walk around the sections of the ISS, exhibited for public inspection and evaluate in what conditions it is necessary to live and work astronauts.
Goodwood Museum and Gardens
The preserved and restored Goodwood plantation is the history of Florida of the early 19th century. On its territory stands a typical mansion for the southern states with a terrace on the first floor, a former coach room, a water tower, sheds for storing garden tools and equipment. But the main attraction is the heated pool, which was the only one in Florida at that time. Around the beautiful garden is broken with flower beds, bushes and tall old trees, from which the Spanish moss hangs.
It is known that the first mansion in this place was built in the 1830s by the brothers Hardy and Brian Krum. On the plantations around the house they grew cotton and corn. For this purpose, about 250 slaves were employed. Subsequently, the house was replaced by several owners. The most notable trace in the fate of the house was left by a rich widow from New York, Fanny Thier, who arranged her winter residence here, invested a lot of money and energy into the reconstruction of the mansion, equipped the kitchen and bathrooms in it.
Museum of Salvador Dali
The collection of this museum began in the state of Ohio, in the home of the Morse couple — Albert Reynolds and Eleanor Reese. In 1943 they at the exhibition in Cleveland acquired the first painting of Dali. Later they became acquainted with the Master himself and became his friends. Twenty years after the first meeting, about 200 Dali’s works were kept in their house.
In 1971, the collection moved to a former office building in Ohio. But as the couple continued to acquire the artist’s canvases, it was necessary to look for a new place for the museum. As a result, in 1982 in the city of St. Petersburg, the Dali Museum was opened. The present building has opened the doors for visitors in 2011. There are both small and giant canvases, about 100 watercolors and drawings. Be sure to pay attention to the portrait of Lincoln, whose face can be seen only moving away from the picture for a considerable distance.
Mission of San Luis
The mission of San Luis is an open-air museum in which the history of the conquest of these lands by the Spaniards and their friendship with the Indian tribes of Apalache unfolds before the visitors. Here everything is restored in the form in which it was from 1656 to 1704, when this land became a crossroads of two cultures.
There was a huge round hall, in which the Indians, the houses of the Spaniards and the priest, the church in which the Europeans converted the aborigines to Christianity gathered. There is also a small fortified castle that defended the mission from enemies.
Everywhere there are paths along which there are informative tablets with pictures. They «tell» how life went on from day to day in such missions. It was a kind of educational program on both sides. The Indians taught the Spaniards how to survive in nature and make pottery from clay, and the Spaniards introduced them to weapons, self-defense systems, more civilized living conditions.
Everglades National Park
Florida, United States
The territory of the Everglades National Park is a giant swamp, with numerous footpaths, bicycle and automobile routes on dry places. People come here to watch the alligators, which are very numerous here. Reptiles like crawling on footpaths or lying in the grass, merging with it, right in the immediate vicinity of the trails. Other permanent residents of these places are blue herons.
In the Everglades are also popular excursions on small airboats, boats that propel the propeller (but it’s expensive). It is more budgetary to go on the road on a cycle route. While you twist the pedals — have time to enjoy the wildlife around. You can also rent a canoe or kayak and, armed with a map with the route, wave with the paddle.
Henry Plant Museum
Pinnacles resembling Muslim minarets in the city of Tampa are visible almost everywhere. They decorate the building of an old hotel that belonged to Henry Bradley Plant — the railroad magnate of Florida. Having spent the railway in 1884 in Tampa, he helped establish business in these parts. Therefore, I decided to build here and the hotel, which took the first guests in 1891. The most expensive apartments in it then cost $ 15 (!) Per day, which was comparable to the cost of rooms in an expensive hotel in New York.
Now the wide hotel corridor is covered with the same dark red carpet with patterns, which were used by the first guests more than 100 years ago. The walls are decorated with canvases and picturesque panels, on the chest of drawers are arranged all kinds of vases in the oriental style, porcelain baubles, Venetian mirrors, French furniture of the XVIII century. On the terrace there are chairs, which once had a rest with a newspaper and a cup of coffee in their hands. So in a company with an audio guide in this hotel museum you can imagine the life of businessmen and the rich public of the late XIX century in all its glory.
The Ringling Museum is several museums located in a beautiful park on the shore of the bay near the city of Sarasota. Near the water, the house of John and Mabel Ringling towers. This mansion is a winter residence of the couple, built in the style of Venetian Gothic in 1926. On the first floor, where there are ceremonial rooms, a dining room, kitchens, visitors are allowed free of charge. On the second, where there are bedrooms and guest rooms — for a fee.
The second building in the park is the circus museum. Mr. Ringling was a very successful owner of the circus and decided to create the first such museum in America. His expositions tell about the history of circus art, here are collected costumes, posters and posters, information about the most famous artists.