What do you call the phenomenon of living somewhere for a long time but not visiting the sites until you no longer live there?
South Florida, my childhood home, has a few of those attractions.
Ever since I read a few years ago about the oldest building in the Western hemisphere being in South Florida I have wanted to visit it. Of course, I probably knew about the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach as a teenager but was too jaded, disinterested, or unworldly to appreciate it then.
Spanish Monastery, North Miami Beach, Florida
Yes, it is somewhat sneaky to call the Spanish Monastery the oldest building in the Western hemisphere. It was built between 1133 and 1141 in Spain, bought by William Randolph Hearst in 1925, and reassembled here in 1953.
>>> For more historic South Florida buildings, see Opa Locka: Funny Name, Cool Architecture
The Ancient Spanish Monastery (and gardens) has appeared in many movies, television shows, and commercials. It also is popular for wedding photos and ceremonies.*
For more South Florida road trip fun, please see my recent article: Opa Locka: Funny Name, Cool Architecture.
- In fact, that evening, I discussed my day’s exploration activities with my high school classmate Luis Sousa, the architect who designed the Lynn University memorial. “Our wedding was at the Spanish Monastery”, Luis said. How cool is that?
Have you visited the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach?