St. Augustine is a city steeped in a rich history, and as such, the opportunities to explore and discover the lives and buildings of our past abounds. The Avero House, located on 41 St. George Street, is one shining example of what you can expect when exploring the historic streets of St. Augustine. Also called the St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine, this white stucco building, constructed in 1749, is dedicated to America’s first Greek immigrants that landed on our shores in 1768. The building includes a museum which is filled with the stories, artifacts, and treasures of those first brave immigrants.
Covered in blinding white stucco, this Greek St. Photios shrine looks like it could have been shipped straight here from the Isle of Corfu in Greece, especially on a sunny day when the sky is that perfect shade of blue. Inside, the walls are filled with icons painted in the Byzantine style and Bible verses that are meant to remind you of what is REALLY important. Colorful, beautiful, and humbling, the Avero House serves to remind us all of the sacrifices made by the early Greek settlers. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and restored to its former glory in 1979, you can almost feel the spirits of the brave souls who built this place hundreds of years ago as you walk through.
In 1768, a colony of 1403 Greeks made their way across the seas to New Smyrna, Florida. Unfortunately, only 1255 survived the journey. Life was hard, as the colonists had to learn to deal with creatures with which they were unfamiliar. Alligators, poisonous snakes, and even mosquitos plagued them daily as they strove to create a life in this unfamiliar land. Treated as slaves, imprisoned, and facing a host of difficulties, their numbers dwindled even further as sickness and other struggles cost them their lives. The museum inside the Avero House remembers their sacrifices as it tells their stories through artifacts, treasures, and the written word.
The Ocean Gallery
Services are still performed in this sacred house of worship, just as it is also used as a monument to the struggles faced by that first group of Greek-Americans all the way back in 1768, and a trip to St. Augustine is incomplete without a visit to these sacred halls. Book your luxurious Ocean Gallery vacation home and discover the history and beauty of our nation’s oldest city with a trip to the Avero House St. Augustine, FL!
Other great attractions in St. Augustine: