Basilica Cathedral153 Votes Currently Closed
- Address: 38 Cathedral Place, 35 Treasury St. Saint Augustine, Florida 32084, St Augustine, United States
- Timings: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm Details
- Phone: +1-9048242806
- Tags: Church, Religious Site, Observatory, Educational Site, Historical Site, Family And Kids, Architecture , Cathedral
It was the Age of Discovery sailors and explorers of the Spanish Empire, sailed beyond Europe to the Americas and Asia, capturing territory and opening trade routes. In the mid 1560’s the first colony that was founded in St. Augustine stayed. The Spanish settlers began to establish a Catholic Church. They were intensely religious and completed building the first Cathedral of St. Augustine, the Basilica Cathedral.
However, the Spaniards present were mostly sailors and had little experience in architecture, so the first Cathedral of St. Augustine was made in a hurry and with very simple collection of materials. Sir Francis Drake burned down this cathedral in 1586 on an attack on St Augustine. The Spaniards began rebuilding the cathedral once more and within a matter of months constructed the second one, with straw and palmetto, which proved to be very temporary and not durable. The second cathedral also faced the same destiny and burned down due to natural causes.
In 1605, the third attempt was made to construct the church using more experienced architects and builders from Europe. They had begun to make their way over to the new world and the third cathedral was built with longevity in mind. It was erected from timber, and would stay intact for the next nine and a half decades.
The church began to deteriorate due to lack of maintenance, climatic conditions, and severe instability in the congregation's size. In 1702 the church was again burned down during a failed British effort to take over the city and the cathedral vanished from the city for over ninety years. In 1793 the beginnings of the Cathedral of St. Augustine as we know it today, were created and this rendition of the project, being the longest running in the parish’s history, finally reached completion in August 1797. On December 4, 1976, Pope Paul VI raised the edifice to the dignity of a Minor Basilica. It was the 27th American church to be honoured as such by the Holy See. As a testament to its historic national significance, the Cathedral-Basilica was named a National Historic Landmark.
Upon entering the cathedral, a visitor would pass under a circular arch, which is a direct architectural feature of the Classical period, and true to Classical style, one each side of the arch, there is a Doric column supporting the structure. Since fire had been the arch nemesis from the very conception of this cathedral, coquina stone was used for the exterior walls. The great aspect of this material was it is a sedimentary rock, created primarily from the decomposition of seashells.
As St. Augustine is a city near the coast, the stone could be quarried and transported with minimal distance to travel. It was easy to quarry because the stone was saturated with seawater and it hardened to a regular stone consistency when dry. This served the exact purpose that was required and was done with minimal effort and cost.
Basilica Cathedral Travel Tips
- This is a Cathedral of The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine Florida.
- It is America’s First Parish and continue to serve not only the many families who call the Cathedral Parish their spiritual home, but also the thousands of visitors who come to America’s Oldest City for a spiritual pilgrimage or just to visit the beauty of the site.
- Beautiful stained glass window, sculptures on the walls and ceilings and paintings all relax you and help you tune and accept God into your heart.
- Gyro House: Greek
- Dolce Cafe: Cafe, French, vegan, Creperie
- Kilwin’s: American, German
- Bistro De Leon: French
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Basilica Cathedral Reviews & Ratings
Travelers, St Augustine is beautiful. There are so many things to do and see there. Walking through town was fun and interesting. The cathedral is very beautiful. It seemed very old and European. This is worth the trip to this magical city. Enjoy.
Great! This place is perfect! Can not say enough good things about this place! I came here for a wedding in March and it was the most incredible venue!!! I was very impressed with this location, the place was magical and the wedding reception was beautiful! The bar in this place was really cool and the energy of the workers was wonderful! Thank you for this experience! We would love to attend another event at this beautiful Cathedral in St. Augustine!
A must see. Walk through this beautiful church and experience the feel of calm. The soft music and art ease atmosphere keeps you feeling welcomed.
Beautiful and truly awe inspiring. I’m sad we missed the guided tour, but glad we made it by to take a look around. The architecture, stained glass, and artwork are all phenomenal. I appreciate that the basilica is willing to open itself up to individuals of all faiths. It is definitely worth a visit whether you take the paid tour or stop in for a free look around.
Very beautiful. My wife felt the holy spirit there. If we are in town on a Sunday we will be attending mass here.