An important location for 17th, 18th and 19th century St. Augustine commerce. The first St. Augustine public market place was established in this Plaza by Governor Mendez de Canzo in 1598. Here, for the first time a standard system of weights and measures was introduced in this country for the protection of the consumer.
St. Augustine’s public market was a vital part of the town’s original layout. The grid design of the central plaza and city streets adhered to King Phillip II’s royal decree of 1598, which put forth an official town plan for all Spanish colonial towns. The plaza included the public marketplace bordered by the cathedral and Government House, where the governor could oversee the market. The market provided a storefront for residents to offer goods for sale to the general public.
St. Augustine’s plaza has seen several versions of a public market facility. The current one is the first masonry structure, built in 1824 for a more sanitary environment to sell food. Originally, there was a bell in the cupola to call villagers to market day.
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