This Apalachee Mission is the Only Mission Whose Location is Known to Date

 | October 5, 2022

Image courtesy of Nuestro Stories.

The Spanish first began colonizing the land now known as Florida in the 1560s, though the colonization effort itself moved slowly. 

While Florida had somewhat of an appeal to the Spanish for its location (it was a good place to hide ships from pirates), it was lacking in the types of resources and mineral wealth that other areas of the land now known as the United States. 

However, what Florida lacked in tangible wealth made up for in the number of people it gave the Spanish the chance to convert to Catholicism. To ensure that the conversion of the Indigenous was a success, the Spanish built a long line of missions that spanned across the country with the specific intent of assimilating the Indigenous tribes to the Spanish’s way of life. 

San Luis de Talimali was one of those missions. 

After St. Augustine, considered the cultural and trade hub of the Spanish colonies, San Luis was the second most important town in Spain’s colonial presence. The community in San Luis had deep connections to Spanish heritage and cultural practices, so much so that the entire village began to look like a miniature replica of a Spanish town. 

San Luis was also home to the Apalachee chiefs and council house. 

The Apalachee seemingly lived, for the most part, peacefully with the Spanish. Considering how most missionary practices went, these people managed to keep a decent portion of the Apalachee traditions. 

According to archaeological evidence, they lived together until the 17th century, when diseases began spreading across the land, decimating much of the Indigenous population. 

Additionally, tensions between Indigenous and Spanish through the land now known as the Southwest reached a breaking point, and clashes between colonizers and tribes began to spread. The San Luis mission fell during those clashes and was abandoned. 

It is currently the only Apalachee mission whose name and location are known and verified. 

Things to know before you go: 

  • San Luis de Talimali Historic Landmark is located at 2100 W Tennessee St. in Tallahassee, FL. 
  • It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm except for major national holidays. 

Location: Leon County, Florida, USA

Address: 2100 W Tennessee St, Tallahassee, FL 32304

You can visit this mission here.

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