May 1513 to 2013 Marks the 500 years since Ponce de Leon came to Florida.
Ponce de Leon
2013 marks 500 years of La Florida, “land of flowers,” as Ponce de Leon named this land when he sighted it in March 1513. We invite you to explore the “land of flowers” as the event is commemorated throughout the state with museum exhibits, presentations, events, festivals and more.
La Florida: What’s in a name?What did Ponce de Leon intend when he named Florida? No one can say for sure, because his voyage journal has been lost. However, historian Gary R. Mormino writes that a Spanish historian who had access to the journal observed, “Believing that land to be an island, they named it La Florida, because it appeared very delightful, having many fresh groves, and it was all level, and also because they discovered it at the season which the Spaniards call Flowery Easter (Pascua Florida).”
Roughly translated, La Florida means “flowery place” or “land of flowers.” Regardless of Ponce de Leon’s intentions when he named it, there is no doubt he stumbled upon a paradise in which riches were counted in glorious natural resources rather than the gold he sought.