Unforgettable Experiences in an Extraordinary Place

Reconstructing Mission San Luis

The Council House

  • Excavating a major support post to determine its depth and diameter
  • Excavating a major support post to determine its depth and diameter.
  • Reconstruction of the council house begins
  • Reconstruction of the council house begins.
  • Zulus from South Africa used more than 100,000 palm fronds to thatch the council house
  • Zulus from South Africa used more than 100,000 palm fronds to thatch the council house.

The council house served as the city hall, ceremonial center, and lodge for the more than 1500 Apalachee residents at Mission San Luis. Archaeology and reconstruction revealed the Apalachees’ sophisticated knowledge of geometry and their retention of native architectural and material traditions even after three generations of missionization. At over 140 feet in diameter, five stories high, and 72’ rafters weighing more than 1000 pounds each, the reconstruction of the Apalachee council house required lumber from out of state and the largest crane available in Florida.  Next