There are a handful of spots around St. Augustine that transport you to Spain. The Fuente de Los Canos de San Francisco is one of them.
You may have seen this water feature tucked between the Visitor Information Center and the Huguenot Cemetery just outside the City Gates, but did you know it’s one of Spain’s gifts to the Sister City?
The Canos de San Francisco is one of the oldest and most renowned landmarks in Aviles, Spain, the birthplace of St. Augustine’s founder, Pedro Menendez. In February 2005, the mayor of Aviles, the Honorable Santiago Rodriguez Vega, sent molds of the six masks from the original 16th-century fountain which still functions today. St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner graciously accepted the masks and the city began construction.
The fountain took about three months to complete and was made from wood, poured concrete, concrete block, and, of course, coquina stone! To give the fountain a historic look, builders used beads of glue inside the mold negative to mimic cracks once the material dried, then added a tan color to the grey concrete. Mildew contributes to its antique look thanks to northern exposure and the fountain’s location under large trees.
The fountain was officially dedicated on February 24, 2007, and, as a thank you, Mayor Joe Boles sent a photo of the replicated fountain to the mayor of Aviles. The original Aviles fountain was built to channel water from springs or aqueducts for public use. The replica functions as an ornament and is