Saturday, March 3, 2012

1559 - PENSACOLA - 2009 / Spanish Royal Visit

In the City of Five Flags on Thursday, it was the RED and GOLD of the Spanish banner that dominated as King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia helped celebrate the history Pensacola shares with their country.
The king and queen made several stops, placing a wreath at the site of Fort George, where the Spanish defeated the British in 1781, gazing out at Pensacola Bay from the park that will now be named for the king and speaking to a large crowd in Plaza Ferdinand.
The visit highlighted the shared history Spain has with the city and the state. Spanish sailor Don Tristan de Luna arrived in Pensacola on August 15, 1559, with a contingent of more than 1,500 soldiers, servants, settlers, priests and Mexican Indians.
But battered by a hurricane and after losing supplies, the explorers fled within a few years. The Spanish set up a permanent settlement in 1698.

Juan Carlos told the crowd "The queen joins me in thanking you from our hearts for your kind invitation to this beautiful and dynamic city which contains so much of the shared history of Spain and the United States...we had always wanted to visit you. This great celebration is a unique occasion to do so."
"We're grateful. Without the Spanish, we wouldn't have La Florida", Gov. Charlie Crist told Juan Carlos and Sofia at the beginning of the visit.


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