Mission of Nombre de Dios, Saint Augustine

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 Reviews

San Marco Avenue 904.824.2809

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  • Mission of Nombre de Dios
    by Ewingjr98
  • Mission of Nombre de Dios
    by Ewingjr98
  • Mission of Nombre de Dios
    by Ewingjr98
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    Mission of Nombre de Dios

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Jul 3, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Like they did later in Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico, the Spanish used religious missions to control local lands and native populations throughout modern Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama. The main cities of Spanish colonization were in north Florida at the coastal cities of Tallahassee and Saint Augustine, with the majority of the missions in those areas. The missions of this region were divided into four provinces named Apalachee, Guale, Mayaca-Jororo and Timucua after the major Indian tribes in the colony. The total number of missions in Spanish Florida was around 100 with 69 in modern Florida, 19 in present-day Georgia, and a handful in Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi.

    The missions thrived until the early 1700s when Queen Anne’s War and the War of Spanish Succession pitted England against Spain. In 1702 the British began to systematically attack the missions, and by 1704, nearly all were destroyed and their inhabitants killed or exiled.

    The first mission in Florida and the US was the Mission of Nombre de Dios in Saint Augustine. The original site of the mission is marked by the 208 foot tall Great Cross. This is the approximate site where, in 1565, according to a plaque at the site, "the Cross of Christianity was first permanently planted in what is now the United States." The modern, somewhat obnoxious cross was built in 1965 by the local Diocese of St. Augustine to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of this mission and the city.

    A plaque at the site reads:

    MISSION NOMBRE DE DIOS

    On this site, September 8th 1565, Pedro Menendez
    de Aviles landed with a band of settlers to
    found St. Augustine, first permanent Christian
    settlement in the United States. Father
    Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales, Spanish
    diocesan priest, offered here the first Mass
    in the nation's first parish. The Spanish
    pioneers named the landing site Nombre
    de Dios - Name of God - and founded here the
    first Mission in the United States.

    St. Johns County Historical Commission
    in cooperation with
    Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials 1963

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  • Shihar's Profile Photo

    Mission of Nombre de Dios

    by Shihar Written Feb 1, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche is considered America's Most Sacred Acre.

    There is a very large 208 ft Cross on the grounds. It is said to be the site of the founding of St. Augustine on Sept. 8, 1565.

    The grounds are open from 7am-7pm. There is a gift shop that is open daily.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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  • frankcanfly's Profile Photo

    Mission of Nombre De Dios

    by frankcanfly Updated Sep 5, 2005

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This 208 foot tall stainless steel Great cross rises from the site of America's first mass, over 400 years ago.

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  • amybrooke's Profile Photo

    Mission de Nombres De Dios

    by amybrooke Written Apr 9, 2006

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Some say its the first mission in the United States. Regardless it is a beautiful site on the north end of the city.

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