MISSION SAN LUÍS
Museum, Living History Village, Research and Collections Facility
Tallahassee, Leon County
In 1656, after over 20 years of contact between the Apalachee Indians and Spanish friars, the Spanish established Mission San Luís as their western capital. Located in what is today Tallahassee, this settlement was important for its agricultural riches, for its location as a center of trade over a large region, for its political importance, and for its role in spreading Catholicism among the Apalachee. The fertile soils of the region provided food for export to the Spanish capital at St. Augustine, while religious conversion, trade, and alliances with the Apalachee Indians strengthened the otherwise sparse Spanish colonial occupation. For nearly 50 years the Spanish and Apalachee residents peacefully coexisted at San Luís, before they were forced to evacuate under the threat of British attack in 1704. Extensive archaeological research at the site of San Luís has resulted in a vibrant picture of the diverse population of Apalachee Indians and Spanish colonists, soldiers, and friars who lived in and around the mission. Archaeological investigations have allowed for the reconstruction of the church, council house, friary, fort, and part of the Spanish village. The reconstructed buildings of Mission San Luís stand as a powerful reminder of the Spanish mission system that occupied much of the coastal Southeast during the 17th century.Did you know?
- Mission San Luis is one of the Southeast’s top ten archaeological sites
- Reconstructed Apalachee Indian and Spanish structures replicate the Spanish mission among the Apalachee; costumed interpreters help the visitor understand what life was like when the site was in use
- The Bureau of Archaeological Research collections are held at this site