Pedro Menendez de Aviles (Explorer)
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés

Pedro Menéndez de Avilés was a Spanish admiral and explorer from the region of Asturias, Spain, who is remembered for planning the first regular trans-oceanic convoys and for founding St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565. This was the first successful Spanish settlement in La Florida and the most significant city in the region for nearly three centuries. St. Augustine is the oldest continuously-inhabited, European-established settlement in the continental United States. Menéndez de Avilés was also the first governor of Florida.

Born: 15 February 1519, Avilés, Asturias, Spain
Died: September 17, 1574, Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Nationality: Spanish
Occupation: Admiral, 16th-century colonial governor of La Florida and Cuba, in New Spain
Religion: Roman Catholic
Succeeded by: Diego de Velasco

About Pedro Menendez de Aviles

Spanish explorer and sea captain who founded St. Augustine, the first successful Spanish settlement in Florida, in 1565. When he set out he was under the reign of Philip II of Spain.

Before Fame

He began his career as a sailor with orders from King Philip II of Spain.


He served as the first Governor of Florida.

Family Life

He initially set out for Florida to try to locate his son, Juan, who had been involved in a shipwreck in the area in 1561.


He and Hernando DeSoto were both famous Spanish explorers who traveled to the New World.

Information related to Pedro Menéndez de Avilés

  • El Portal, Florida – El Portal is a village in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The village name is derived from the Spanish term for “the gate,” after two wooden gates that once stood as a gateway to the village.
  • History of Florida – The history of Florida can be traced to when the first Native Americans began to inhabit the peninsula as early as 14,000 years ago. They left behind artifacts and archeological evidence.
  • Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine – The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine is a diocese of the Catholic Church’s Latin Church in the U.S. state of Florida. Part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Miami, it covers much of North Florida, including the cities of St. Augustine, Jacksonville, and Gainesville.
  • St. Augustine, Florida – St. Augustine is a city in the Southeastern United States, on the Atlantic coast of northeastern Florida. Founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, it is the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the contiguous United States.
  • Spanish Florida – Spanish Florida was the first major European land claim and attempted settlement in North America during the European Age of Discovery. La Florida formed part of the Captaincy General of Cuba, the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and the Spanish Empire during Spanish colonization of the Americas.
  • Explorers of Florida
  • Governors of Cuba
  • People of Spanish Florida
  • Anti-piracy
  • Spanish colonial period of Cuba
  • Colonial United States (Spanish)
  • Spanish admirals
  • Spanish West Indies
  • Spanish explorers of North America
  • Asturian people
  • Knights of Santiago
  • Explorers of the United States
  • Spanish explorers
  • People of New Spain
  • City founders
  • Spanish colonial governors and administrators
  • 16th-century Spanish people

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