|UNITED STATES OF AMERICA|
|St. Johns County|
Saint Augustine on the northeast coast of Florida is the oldest European settlement on what is today the United States. The Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed here on 8 September 1565 and named the place after the saint of the day (28 August) when land was first sighted. Another Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de León had landed near here in 1513 and named the land la Florida in honour of Pascua florida, flowery Easter. The land belonged to Spain until 1763 when it passed to Britain. Spain regained Florida in 1784 but ceded it to the United States in 1821. For more than 200 years, St. Augustine had served as the governmental centre of East Florida. When East and West Florida were united to become a US territory, Tallahassee was chosen as the new capital in 1824, because it was located roughly halfway between Pensacola and St. Augustine. Florida was admitted to statehood in 1845. The history of St. Augustine as a resort community goes back to the late 1880s when Henry M. Flagler, co-founder of Standard Oil, built the first two hotels. In 1895, Flagler founded the Florida East Coast Railway to bring in visitors from the North to his hotels in St. Augustine, Palm Beach and Miami.
The Castillo de San Marco [right] is the oldest defence works still standing in the United States. It was constructed by the Spanish in 1672–1695. When the British obtained control of Florida in 1763, they renamed the fort Fort St. Marks and used it to protect St. Augustine during the American Revolution. After 1821, the US War Department renamed the fort Fort Marion in honour of Francis Marion, general during the Revolutionary War. The fort was declared a national monument in 1924. Its original Spanish name was restored by an Act of Congress in 1943.
The Basilica Cathedral of St. Augustine [left] was founded in the 1600s and was rebuilt in 1797. It is the oldest parish on the territory of the United States. Its records go back to 1594. The cathedral gained the status of a Basilica minor in 1976.
(see also list of other basilicae minores depicted on glasses of this collection)
The City Gate [right] protected one of the entrances to the city since 1718. Parts have been reconstructed on the green of Castillo de San Marco.