ST. AUGUSTINE -- Archeologists have uncovered the remains of a church that may predate St. Augustine’s historic Castillo de San Marcos fort.
Researchers from the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida said Thursday that it’s the only stone mission church in St. Augustine.
The building was built more than 300 years ago in the nation’s oldest continuous European settlement.
Archeologists last week found the coquina stone and tabby foundations of a structure measuring at least 90 by 40 feet.
That would make it one of the largest churches and possibly the oldest stone structure in colonial Spanish Florida.
The ruins were found on the site of Florida’s first Franciscan mission, the Nombre de Dios.
It was the longest-enduring mission in the Southeast, operating from 1587 through 1760.