"Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine" Basilica of St. Augustine Tip by Ewingjr98
Basilica of St. Augustine, Saint Augustine: 5 reviews and 14 photos
The Cathedral Basilica in downtown St Augustine was constructed from 1793 to 1797, with the tall bell tower added later in 1888. This is the fourth church structure of this parish, with the first three survived 1565 to 1586, 1586 to 1599, and 1605 to 1702. The first and third buildings were destroyed during British attacks, while the second was consumed in a fire. Because this church's first structure was built when St. Augustine was founded, the Cathedral Basilica calls itself "The First Parish."
This landmark building with its distinctive octagonal bell tower with a square base can be seen from all over town and in the Castillo. One of the cathedral's four bells in believed to be the oldest bell in the United States, as it dates from one of the earlier church buildings. The grounds around the church contain numerous statues including one of Father Pedro Camps, a Minorcan friar who helped maintain the Catholic church during the first British occupation of the town in the 1700s. The front of the church faces south to the Constitutional Plaza and the old market.
A plaque at the Cathedral reads:
The parish of St. Augustine, which dates from the celebration of a mass on September 8, 1565, by the Spaniard Pedro Menedez and his men, is the oldest Catholic parish within the present day United States. During Queen Anne's War, the English Governor of South Carolina, James Moore, raided St. Augustine and destroyed an earlier church. Plagued by financial difficulties, the parish was unable to construct a new church until this coquina edifice was begun in 1793. Completed in 1797, it became a cathedral in 1870 when St. Augustine was elevated to a diocese. Augustin Verot was invested as the first bishop. In 1887, fire severely damaged the cathedral, but the facade and walls remained standing and were preserved when the building was restored in 1887-1888. The chancel, transcept and campanile were added at that time. Further restoration was carried out in 1965.
Address: 38 Cathedral Pl St Augustine, FL 32084
Directions: Located at Cathedral Street between Charlotte and St. George Streets.
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