One of the best, and most easily missed, aspects of Florida’s Historic Coast is its stunning public art. From symbols of protest and revolution to gardens designed to relax and inspire, the sculptures you’ll find showcase the rich history and cultural influences in St. John’s County.
Learn the stories behind the sculptures and see how many you can find on your next visit.
In February of 1814, residents of St. Augustine erected the Constitution Obelisk in celebration of the Spanish constitution. Later, the constitution was revoked and a royal order issued for its removal. But the people of St. Augustine refused. Instead, the tablets were temporarily removed until it was safe to reattach them in 1818. Today, this one-of-a-kind public sculpture stands tall in the middle of the Plaza de la Constitution in downtown St. Augustine as a reminder of the past and the steadfast spirit of the city.
St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Monument
In St. Augustine in 1963, over 100 people came together in peaceful protest to demand civil rights. Through arrests, beatings, job loss, and more, these self-proclaimed foot soldiers stayed on the front lines of the movement, fighting for equality.
Bridge of Lions Marble Lions
One of the most popular St. Augustine landmarks, the Bridge of Lions was built in the 1920’s to connect mainland St. Augustine to Anastasia Island. The lions, named Fiel y Firme (Faithful and Firm), stand proudly at the entrance to the bridge, inviting visitors to cross and enjoy the sights and sounds of St. Augustine.
Ponte Vedra Sculpture Garden
Among the beautiful public art exhibits at the Cultural Center of Ponte Vedra Beach is the Enzo Torcoletti Sculpture Garden. Here, you can sit or stroll through the garden, enjoying unique stone sculptures from local artist Enzo Torcoletti’s Unedited series.
Veterans Memorial Sculpture Garden
In St. Augustine Beach, the work of renowned local sculptor Thomas Glover W., along with other artists, stands in a beautiful section of Lakeside Park. The Sculpture Garden gives visitors a peaceful spot to relax and take a stroll, surrounded by natural beauty and some of St. Augustine’s most inspiring public art.
Mission Nombre de Dios
Imagine it’s 1565. Admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés discovers St. Augustine, proclaiming the land for Spain and the church by kneeling to kiss a wooden cross presented to him by Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales. Today, the serene and peaceful Mission Nombre de Dios remains a popular public sculpture, welcoming visitors from all over the world to historic St. Augustine.
Click here to learn about other St. Augustine landmarks and must-see destinations.