First Colony Government House in St. Augustine, FL

48 King StSt. Augustine, FL 32084
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An exhibition from the Florida Museum of Natural History, First Colony: Our Spanish Origins at the Government House Museum offers a unique way to see and learn about the origins of Florida and its Spanish settlers. Guests can discover why settlers traveled to Florida, explore archaeological discoveries, see actual artifacts from hundreds of years ago, and more.

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Long before Jamestown, Spaniards, free and enslaved Africans and Native Americans crafted our country’s first enduring European settlement — St. Augustine, in 1565. Discover the first colony through archaeology, history and the stories of people who lived there in this hands-on, interactive exhibition. These first colonial immigrants created America’s original “melting pot” — a colorful, multicultural society that was new then, but might seem familiar today.

Discover why Spanish settlers traveled by ship to Florida. Displays profile the mission of the Spanish and explain why they risked the demanding journey. Visitors can test their strength with a cannon ball lift and examine colonial gold and silver.

Take a closer look at the daily lives of the Spanish settlers and see actual artifacts from the first colony. Learn about interactions with the native Timucua people. View what the colony looked like as imaged through 3-D gaming software that allows visitors to fly through the first settlement and hear stories of its residents.

Discover how archaeologists have revealed the first colony’s story with an in-depth discussion of the process, complete with numerous artifacts and an interactive multimedia centerpiece that allows visitors to be the archaeologists.

Put your “street smarts” to the test! Learn about town planning and build your own town based on settlement regulations in an interactive game. Stroll through a Spanish colonial streetscape and explore households and daily activities, from religious practices to work lives to leisure. See how the military defined the settlement and how life on its frontiers evolved. Find out why we don’t speak Spanish today!

Globalize your world view with an interactive map to mark family origins and a multimedia interactive that allows you to create and share your own cultural collage. Observe the daily life of a modern American woman mirrored with a woman from the first colony — their lives may be more similar than you think.

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