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10 Magnificent Oldest Churches And Cathedrals In America

Photo by Wangkun Jia at Shutterstock

Cathedral of San Juan Bautista

Where? San Juan, Puerto Rico
Year Built: 1521
Religion: Roman Catholic
Still In Use? Yes

First constructed in 1521, this cathedral is the oldest church in America. About thirty years after the Spanish first came to the New World and founded the colonial Caribbean capital in San Juan, they brought Roman Catholicism with them and initially built a wooden church.

But a hurricane quickly destroyed it, and a stone cathedral was constructed instead.

Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who had a close connection to the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista and even served as the governor of Puerto Rico, was one of the first to be interred at the cathedral.

Unfortunately, Juan Ponce de León died the same year the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista was completed. Today, this cathedral is still open to the public for church services and as a well-known tourist attraction.

Fun Fact: The Cathedral of San Juan Bautista is actually the second permanent cathedral built in the New World

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