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Gallery: Mission San Luis de Apalachee, I

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Sign at entrance to the Mission San Luis: "From 1633 until 1704, Franciscan monks established and operated a chain of missions and attempted to convert Florida Indians to Christianity. Apalachee missions also served as Spanish Florida's western defense network. In 1633, about 10,000 Indians lived in Apalachee Province: present-day Jefferson, Leon, and Wakulla counties. There were eighteen Franciscan missions in Apalachee Province, though all did not exist at the same time. Each mission had two principal structures, a church and a convent, which were constructed of a wooden framework plastered with clay."

Sign at entrance to the Mission San Luis (continued): "The mission buildings were constructed by local Indian labor. A priest served each mission, and soldiers were garrisoned at the nearby fort of San Luis de Talimali. In 1704, Colonel James Moore led a force of 1,500 whites and Yamassee Indians from the British colony of South Carolina into Apalachee Province. This army killed several priests, destroyed their missions, and enslaved many Indians. Few people remained in the area after Moore's raid, and Spain soon abandoned her province of Apalachee. "

The Apalachee converted to Catholicism and so the church was central to life at San Luis.

Crosses ringed the mission's central plaza.

Interior of the reconstructed church at San Luis. The original was destroyed by the mission's own residents when they abondoned it in 1704 just two days before a British attack.

Altar and crucifixion painting.

The main altar in the Church at Mission San Luis.



Limestone baptistry. The base of the original was found at the mission site.

Fisheye view from the altar toward the choir loft at the back of the church.

The convento (friary) was home to the mission's friars.

Convento at Mission San Luis.

To reduce the risk of fire, kitchens (left) were usually detached at this time in history.

Covered walkway connecting the convento to its kitchen.

Covered walkway.

Detail of roof construction.

Convento kitchen oven.

Top of convento oven. Apalachee women probably did most of the friar's cooking.

Convento window from the inside.

The friar's rooms were simply furnished.

Inside a friar's cell.

Convento dining room.

Convento dining room.



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