Photograph by Blane Perun

Key West

The History and Unique Location of Key West – A Well-Known Island Near the Florida Keys

Located in the Straits of Florida, Key West is an island that can be found at the south of the Florida Keys and at a distance of about 90 km from Cuba. The island measures an area of only about 3,370 acres, and is primarily known for its rich history, historically significant Old Town, modern tourist attractions and strategic military location.

The island was initially occupied by the Calusa people. It was first discovered by the Spanish, when Juan Ponce de Leon arrived on the island in 1521. The Spanish then took over Florida, and established a small garrison here.

When Great Britain took control of Florida for a short time, and in the 1800s, after the Spanish Governor of Cuba was in office, Key West passed through ownership from the Spanish to the United States several times, being considered a key strategic location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Key West is a small island in Florida Keys, only 90 km away from Cuba. It was discovered in 1521 by Juan Ponce de Leon and it was under the rule of the Spanish until 1763, when it was taken over by the British, who ruled it for 20 years. At the beginning of the 19th century, it became the subject of ownership disputes – the Spanish governor of Cuba gave it to a Spanish officer who sold it twice, once to the former governor of South Carolina and once to a U.S. businessman.

In 1822, Key West became the property of the United States and, due to its strategic location, it was transformed into an important naval base, and then into an important industrial center, status that it maintains even today.

Blane Perun

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