It soars high above Matanzas Bay in uptown St. Augustine. Proudly standing 208 feet and serving as a “Beacon of Faith,” the Great Cross has become a landmark of the nation’s oldest city since it was dedicated in 1965.

Standing beneath the cross at its base is a sight to behold. Made of 200 stainless steel panels, it glimmers in the Florida sun and is a great photo opp even if you don’t profess to be a Christian.

The Giant Cross is part of the Mission Nombre de Dios, which traces its origins to the founding of St. Augustine when Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed and proclaimed the site for Spain and the Catholic Church. The lush grounds include Our Lady of La Leche Shrine, statues of religious figures, a Rustic Altar, plenty of places to meditate and the Prince of Peace Church. There’s also a museum and gift shop.

You’ll learn a lot visiting here a few hours and retracing the steps of America’s first founding fathers more than 400 years ago.