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Harmonia Time Capsule: 1607

In mid-January, 1607, the San Augustin Church was consecrated in Manila. Although the third Augustinian church built on the site, it is in fact the first constructed of stone. Begun in 1586, the work took twenty-one years to complete. Today it is on the register as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historical Landmark. San Augustin Church remains the oldest church in the Philippines.

In American news, the colonists who founded Jamestown reached land at Cape Henry, Virginia, before making their way up the James River in order to settle. The city of Jamestown is the first permanent British colony in the United States, founded on May 14, 1607.

In other news, John Harvard was born in London on November 26, 1607. Harvard was an English pastor who bequeathed half of his estate and library in 1638 to support the recently founded ‘New College’ located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school was renamed ‘Harvard College’ a year later in honor of its first benefactor.

In Italian news, the first important opera premiered during 1607. Composed by Claudio Monteverdi, the opera L’Orfeo received its first performance on February 24 at the Ducal Palace in Mantua. One of three surviving operas by Monterverdi, L’Orfeo was a groundbreaking work that was considered cutting-edge in its day, and which continues to be performed and appreciated in ours.

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