What Are The Oldest Cities In The United States

North American Indians were on the North American continent from as early as 11,000 BCE. But these early colonizers did not live in permanent settlements and left little in the way of permanent buildings. The Anasazi built towns such as Chetro Ketl, and the great complex of abandoned towns in Chaco Canyon, in what is now New Mexico. Mesa Verde is another ancient city that is over a thousand years old and was built by the Pueblo Indians. However, almost all of these ancient pueblos were abandoned and now stand as ruins rather than vibrant cities. The one exception being Acoma listed below. Mexico City is probably the oldest city in North America, as a continuation of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, founded in about 1325. St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada was settled in 1528, and claims to be the oldest European-settled city in North America. St. John’s earned its name when the explorer John Cabot became the first European to sail into its harbor on the Feast of St. John, June 24, 1497. It’s also the easternmost city on the North American continent.

The oldest continuously occupied cities in the United States:

Acoma, New Mexico: Forty minutes drive east of Grants, New Mexico, lies the Pueblo (village) of Acoma, built on a sandstone mesa 367-feet above a valley and approximately 7,000 feet above sea level. The pueblo was built on a mesa for defensive purposes, keeping rival raiding tribes at bay. Native verbal history says Acoma was first inhabited about 700 AD although modern archeological evidence suggests it has been continuously occupied from 1150, making it America’s oldest continually inhabited city. It is presently inhabited by a small population of Keresan-speaking Native Americans.

St. Augustine, Florida: Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States. Twenty-one years before the first English Settlement at Roanoke, Virginia and 42 years before the foundation of Jamestown, the Spanish established St. Augustine. Spanish explorer Don Juan Ponce de Leon had landed in mainland America in 1513 and claimed the land for Spain and named it La Florida, meaning “Land of Flowers”. Between 1513 and 1563 the Spanish tried to settle Florida but all their settlements failed. Finally, in 1565, the Spanish destroyed a French garrison on the St. Johns River, Florida and defeated the French fleet. Near the destroyed French fort, San Agustín was founded by the Spanish admiral, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, on August 28, 1565, the feast day of St. Augustine of Hippo. Parts of the original Spanish colonial settlement from the late sixteenth century remain today in St. Augustine in the layout of the town and in the narrow streets and balconied houses. Thirty-six buildings of colonial origin remain and another 40 that are reconstructed models of colonial buildings also contribute to the atmosphere of the town.

Jamestown, Virginia: In May 1607, English explorers with the Virginia Company landed on…

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