Florida’s Oldest Catholic Church
Located just a short walk away from the St. Augustine Old Town Trolley Station and St. George Street, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine is the city’s oldest Catholic church, and acts as the seat of the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine.
The first Cathedral had meager beginnings as a simple, humble wood structure built by citizens in 1565, suffering through frequent attacks and being completely destroyed by both human-made and natural causes several times. After years of attempted reconstruction, the current Cathedral was completed during the 19th century, making it the oldest church in Florida despite years of instability. As with most of the long-standing buildings in St. Augustine, the final version of the Cathedral was made with coquina—a natural stone made from the condensing of seashells over time. It was also funded by Henry Flagler, a notable figure in St. Augustine’s history for constructing many of the more modern buildings in the city, as well as his dedication to beautifying the city and establishing it as a resort destination.
The building features architecture is rooted in St. Augustine’s Spanish foundation, featuring a façade that combines elements of the Spanish mission and Neoclassical styles of architecture. Curving bell gables, clay roof tiles, and unadorned walls comprise the Spanish mission characteristics of the Cathedral’s exterior, while the entry door is embellished with Neoclassical details.
Inside of the Cathedral, the walls are covered with intricate murals that showcase the history of the Catholic Church in the New World. Stained glass windows depict scenes from the life of Saint Augustine of Hippo, the namesake of the city of St. Augustine.
See the Cathedral for Yourself!
Visitors to St. Augustine can stop by the Cathedral and take a guided tour of the historic landmark throughout the day. For tourists wishing to attend a Catholic mass in this magnificent structure, mass begins at 7:00am on Monday through Saturday. Confession is also offered at 3:30pm on Saturdays.
The Cathedral also contains a gift shop offering religious items such as rosaries, bibles, prayer books, medals, crucifixes, scapulars, and saint prayer cards.
Ask The Ocean Gallery About Attractions in St. Augustine!
The reservation specialists at The Ocean Gallery can give you additional information about the Cathedral Basilica and other fun places to visit in St. Augustine. Contact us today to learn more and book your next great tropical escape with The Ocean Gallery!