Science & Culture

Mission San Luis, Florida’s Apalachee-Spanish Living History Museum

From 1656 to 1704, San Luis served as the principal village of the Apalachee Indians and was the Spaniards' westernmost military, religious, and administrative capital. Mission San Luis was one of over 100 mission settlements established in Spanish Florida between the 1560s and 1690s. It was home to more than 1,400 residents, including a powerful Apalachee chief and the Spanish deputy governor. In recognition of its historical significance, San Luis received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

Two miles west of the present-day Florida Capitol Building in Tallahassee, today Mission San Luis is the only reconstructed Spanish mission in Florida. As a living history museum it is devoted to sharing the stories of its former Apalachee and Spanish residents. Knowledge of life at San Luis over three centuries ago comes from intensive archaeological and historical research—the site is the most thoroughly investigated mission in the southeastern United States.

For more information about the Apalachee people and Mission San Luis, see and