Pointing Ponce de Leon.

Pointing Ponce de Leon

Field review by the editors.

St. Augustine, Florida

Ponce de Leon brought enslavement and death to Florida's 16th century natives, but the Floridians of the 20th century couldn't get enough of the guy. They erected several statues in his honor, and the first was this one, unveiled on November 11, 1923. It's an exact copy of a statue that has stood in San Juan, Puerto Rico, since the early 1880s.

Sculpted by C. Bupert, bronze de Leon stands nearly six feet tall atop a 15-foot-high pedestal. He wears a floppy hat with a feather plume, thigh-high boots, body armor, and puffy pantaloons. He is supposed to be standing on board his ship, pointing west, toward land. But if the statue in St. Augustine faced west, its posterior would face the city's bustling bridge to Anastasia Island, a popular tourist spot. So bronze de Leon has been positioned to point north.

Pointing Ponce de Leon

Ponce de Leon Circle, St. Augustine, FL
Downtown, just west of FL-A1A, at the west end of the Bridge of Lions across the Matanzas River.
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