The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine !!!

I went thru my vault of pictures and realise not a single entry on this memorable nostalgic monument of my life in Florida USA. I have written posts on the city of St Augustine, Florida , but not specific on the cathedral. It is a shock to me as used to lived for many years just 55 minutes from it and went there even for lunch/dinner, played soccer/football, and just plain sightseeing first with my parents and later with wife and kids. Well ,found me couple old pictures in my vault and decided to do justice with a post on the wonderful Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine !!! Hope you enjoy it as I.

St. Augustine is on the Atlantic coast of Florida. This is the county seat of Saint Johns county. about 60 km (37 mi) from Jacksonville and 90 km ( 56mi) from Daytona Beach. Today, Saint Augustine is one of Florida’s most popular destinations. It is ,also, the oldest city in the United States ,founded in 1565 by Pedro Menendez de Aviles (Asturias) , Spain.

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine located at 38 Cathedral Plac is America’s first parish and the oldest Catholic Church. Explore this exquisite building and view the Spanish-inspired architecture. The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine, was built over five years between 1793–1797. It’s congregation/city, founded in 1565, is the oldest in the United States.

St Augustine cathedral panel PF 1990s

The first church of Saint Augustine was only a frame construction, decorated with disparate materials. The original parish had only an ephemeral existence, since it was sacked and burned in 1586 by the English privateer Francis Drake.  The church raised an extraordinary time , which made it possible to build a permanent church in 1605, with the participation of masons and carpenters already familiar with the materials available in the New World. This new building lasted 95 years this time despite visible dilapidation, before being burnt down in 1702 during a failed raid on the city, led by James Moore. When Spain recovered these lands in 1784, a civic and patriotic revival pushed the fortunes of the country to undertake the construction of a cathedral, between 1793 and 1797. Florida was a U.S. state since 1845. On April 12, 1887, the cathedral was again engulfed in fire but this time the coquina masonry was repairable.  Thanks to donations from Henry Flagler and a nationwide campaign to expand the building to give it a Latin cross basilica plan, and a European-style transept.

The facade of the Cathedral Basilica of St Augustine, marries the neoclassical style with the architecture of the Spanish missions characterized by their scrolled gable , austere interior lighting, a roof in tiles in terracotta, a semi-circular tympanum, abundant niche statuary and bare walls.  At Saint Augustine, neo classical elements frame the portal with the entablature decorated with triglyphs is enhanced by a pediment and rests on two Doric columns. With its distinctive Moorish architecture and exterior bell tower, characteristic of the Spanish style.

When you step inside this sacred place, you’ll experience the soaring rafters and exposed beams with the breathtaking tabernacle where Mass is held daily. Adorning the walls of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint  Augustine are the stunning murals depicting the history of Catholicism in Florida . Even one of the four bells placed at this cathedral is still believed to be the oldest bell in the United States. In 2015 a multi-million dollar renovation project was completed for this remarkable Catholic parish. The upgrades for the Cathedral Basilica of Saint  Augustine included new Italian marble floors in the sanctuary and construction of an additional choir loft. Other improvements involved restoration of stained glass and repainting of statues and columns.

st augustine cathedral main altar 1990s

This is a must to visit while in gorgeous Saint Augustine, visit the Cathedral,and be sure to make note of these beautiful features: the deep red ceiling and decorated cross beams, gold-leaf lindenwood statues , the custom-built pipe organ, the stories of missionaries and Native Americans, the first Mass and the arrival of the Minorcans depicted in the murals, and the stained glass windows that depict the life of Saint Augustine of Hippo. All very nice indeed!

The private St Augustine tourist office on the Cathedral:

The St Johns county historical coast culture on the cathedral:

The city of Saint Augustine on its history

The National Parks Services on the Cathedral

The Diocese of Saint Augustine on the cathedral

There you go folks, another memorable spot in my dear Florida. The pictures are old, but the text is new and a new post in my blog finally. The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine remained very much part of my family and the trails we have burned. As said, Florida will always be remembered as the U S A. I am glad was able to do this post, and again, hope you enjoy the post as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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