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Saint Augustin Basilica

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The Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine is a historic cathedral in St. Augustine, Florida, and the seat of the Catholic Bishop of St. Augustine. It is located at 38 Cathedral Place between Charlotte and St. George Streets. Constructed over five years (1793–1797), it was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark on April 15, 1970. Its congregation, established in 1565, is the oldest Christian congregation in the contiguous United States.

In the mid-1560s, as the Spanish Empire expanded northward from the Caribbean to unexplored Florida, it founded the colony of St. Augustine, which has become the oldest continuously occupied European settlement on the United States mainland. Spanish settlers immediately established a shrine of the Catholic Church, the religion essential to the Spanish monarchy throughout its history. From the mid-1500s to the mid-1600s, the kingdom was undergoing a Catholic Revival in opposition to the Protestant Reformation.

As the early colonists were mostly sailors or soldiers with little expertise in architecture, the first church of St. Augustine was simply designed and rapidly built of disparate materials. The original parish was short-lived, burning to the ground in a 1586 attack on the town by the Englishman Sir Francis Drake. As two decades previously, the colonists hastily built a new church of straw and palmetto, which deteriorated quickly in the humid climate and burned down in 1599.

A tithe was raised in Spain, and in 1605 a third church was built, this time more permanently of timber by experienced architects and builders who had begun to make their way to the New World. For 95 years it stayed intact, though in disrepair, before again burning down in 1702 during a failed English attempt on the city by South Carolina colonist James Moore. Wikipedia

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An image of Saint Augustin Basilica

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