Mission Nombre de Dios

This park features a giant steel cross commemorating the 1565 landing of Pedro Menendez de Aviles and the history of the Mission Nombre de Dios, which later moved to this site. It was on these grounds that Father Francisco López de Mendoza Grajales, chaplain of Pedro Menendez's expedition, presented a cross to Menendez, celebrated the first parish Mass and began the work at America’s first mission. The Great Cross rises 208 ft. above the marshes of the Matanzas River. On the grounds are a historic cemetery, commemorative stone shrine, the site of one of St. Augustine's later forts, and walking paths providing beautiful views of the bay, marshes and original settlement site. The Mission Nombre de Dios grounds and Gift Shop are open to visitors daily at no cost, located at 27 Ocean Ave St. Augustine, FL.