Basilica Cathedral

Visit the majestic cathedral that has served the oldest parish in the United States for over 200 years.

Basilica Cathedral is an impressive Spanish-style church, which serves the historic parish of St. Augustine. Admire the classic architecture of the cathedral and its impressive bell tower. Step inside to enjoy the soft light falling through the impressive stained glass windows.  Light a candle in front of the altar and marvel at the detail in the altar statues. 

St. Augustine was founded by Spanish sailors in 1565 and is the oldest European settlement in the United States. Construction on the Basilica Cathedral began in 1793 and was completed over four years. The cathedral was built in the classic Spanish style, with circular arches and a European-style bell tower. See where enlargements and renovations were made to parts of the church following a fire in 1887. However, much of the building remains unchanged from when it was first built. 

Enter beneath the circular arches and the first thing that will strike you is the slanted deep red ceiling with the exposed timber beams. This is one of the major changes that was made to the building following the 1887 fire. 

Walk through the cathedral and make sure you stop to admire the small altars set back into the wall. Small religious carvings and artworks are among the details. Admire the fine stained-glass windows and stop before the main altar to see the impressive statue of Christ on the cross. Light a candle and enjoy a moment of reflection before the altar. 

Listen out for the ringing bells. One of the four bells in the Basilica Cathedral’s iconic tower is said to be the oldest in the United States, while another was donated from a British Church. 

The Basilica Cathedral is located just a short walk from St. Augustine’s town center. It is free to enter and is open daily. A vigil is held every Saturday morning and four separate services take place on Sundays. 


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