People still worship in these beautiful sanctuaries today.
While the United States is a relatively young country, its Catholic churches, founded as they were during a time of Spanish and French colonization and missionary work, link the country to its European ancestors in a tangible way.
From the Spanish missions in the American southwest and California, to the churches founded by British Jesuits in Maryland, here are some of the oldest Catholic churches still standing and open for worship today. Some of them have been rebuilt over the centuries, but all retain some element of their original construction.
Launch the slideshow below:
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