STOP 3: Plaza de Luna on Pensacola Bay In 1559, Spanish sailor Don Tristan de Luna sailed into Pensacola Bay to establish one of the first major European settlements in North America. A hurricane and lost supplies eventually doomed the settlement, and within a few years the explorers fled. In 1698, the Spanish returned and established Presidio Santa María de Galve, the first permanent settlement in Northwest Florida.
STOP 1: The area’s beautiful beaches King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía of Spain visited our shores and saw firsthand the emerald-green water and sugarwhite sand. FUN FACT: This cross on Pensacola Beach commemorates the first Catholic Mass held in the United States on August 15, 1559 shortly after the Spanish sailors arrived. The king and queen stayed in separate luxury suites at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front. He stayed in a king-size bed, while she stayed in a queen-size bed.
STOP 2: Galvez monument at Fort George The Battle of Pensacola in 1781 was very important to the American cause in the Revolutionary War. When the British lost to the Spanish at Fort George, Florida was given back to Spain, weakening Great Britain’s hold on the United States. The king and queen paid tribute to the victorious Spanish General Galvez at the Fort George monument on Palafox Street.
The royal couple drove down Palafox Street to Avenida Juan Carlos I to dedicate a plaque at Plaza de Luna. Today, a 6-foot-tall conquistador statue represents Don Tristan de Luna. Plaza de Luna on Pensacola Bay is a popular park for residents and visitors, with a sprayground for children, fishing access, and free movie nights and concerts hosted by the city.
Stop 5: T.T. Wentworth Jr., Florida State Museum The University of West Florida archaeology department recently uncovered a 1559 shipwreck in Pensacola Bay. Artifacts and an anchor believed to be de Luna’s can be seen at the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum.
STOP 6: Historic Pensacola Village STOP 4: Plaza Ferdinand in Downtown Pensacola Plaza Ferdinand is named for Spain’s king in 1781, King Ferdinand. Ironically, Plaza Ferdinand is where Gen. Andrew Jackson transferred Florida from Spain to the United States in 1821. Plaza Ferdinand, which connects the Palafox district with the Pensacola Historic District is an ideal place to rest from a day of touring Downtown Pensacola. Visitors can also stop in Jackson’s Steakhouse on the plaza for an elegant meal.
The royal couple drove through Historic Pensacola Village, which features furnished homes from the Colonial era to the Victorian age. They were greeted by costumed guides who depict life from long ago. FUN FACT: The names of Spanish cities can be found throughout downtown on streets such as Zaragoza, Tarragona and Cervantes, and Seville Square.
STOP 7: National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola The National Naval Aviation Museum, one of the world’s largest air and space museums, features more than 150 vintage aircraft, including the first plane to cross the Atlantic and the first to land on the South Pole. FUN FACT: The Pensacola Celebrity Chefs prepared a meal for the king and queen, Florida Governor Charlie Crist and 500 guests in the museum’s atrium. Guests dined on shrimp salad, cheese grits with grilled grouper and lump crab sauce and a chocolate cheesecake topped with local pecans and berries. Enjoy a feast fit for a king (or queen) at Global Grill, Fish House, Jackson’s Steakhouse, Skopelos on the Bay or H2O. Royal recipes at www.PensacolaCelebrityChefs.com.
we want to treat you like royalty. King Juan Carlos I
and Queen Sofía of Spain recently visited us for
the city’s 450th anniversary celebration. Pensacola was founded in 1559 by the Spanish, and we are proud of our rich culture and colorful heritage. We invite you to walk in the footsteps of the king and queen and have a regally grand time in our majestic city.
ROYAL STOPS 1 Beaches 2 Galvez monument 3 Plaza de Luna 4 Plaza Ferdinand 5 T.T. Wentworth Jr, Florida State Museum 6 Historic Pensacola Village 7 National Naval Aviation Museum
CELEBRITY CHEF RESTAURANTS A The Fish House
B Global Grill C H2O D Jackson’s Steakhouse E Skopelos on the Bay
Published on Apr 30, 2009
In 1559, Spanish sailor Don Tristan de Luna sailed into Pensacola Bay to establish one of the first major European settlements in North Amer...