Historic Markers Across Florida

Nuestra Senora de la Soledad-Our Lady of Solitude, Church and Hospital

Marker ID:  
Location: along the southern end of St. George St in St. Augustine, FL
County: St. Johns
Coordinates: N 29° 53.424    W 081° 18.738
  29.8904    -81.3123
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMN66K


On this site, Spanish colonists built the chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad shortly after 1572.

A hospital was attached in 1597, thus becoming the first hospital in the continental United States.

In 1687 the chapel was enlarged into a church. It became the principal parish church after the siege of 1702, and was rebuilt in coquina stone in 1736.

When Spain ceded Florida to the British in 1763, the British converted La Soledad into St. Peter's Church (Anglican) and added a new bell tower and entrance facing west. The church continued in use until the British left Florida in 1784.

After the Spanish returned in 1784, the church was dismantled and the stone was used in 1793 in the building of a new parish church-the current Cathedral Basilica-on the Plaza.

Archaeological excavations by Florida State University in 1976-77 uncovered remnants of La Soledad and numerous burials under its floor and in the churchyard. These burials included Native Americans and persons of European and African descent and reflect both Spanish and British burial practices.

During the Civil War, according to an oral account, slaves gathered on this lot to receive news of their emancipation.

Since 1938, this site has been owned and preserved by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

City of St. Augustine