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Monterey County Missions

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Monterey State Historic Park
20 Custom House Plaza
Monterey, CA 93940

Monterey History & Art Association
5 Custom House Plaza

Historical Monterey: Missions

 California MissionsThe missions were at the center of California life until the 1820s. Their walls tell the story of the first explorers and settlers, their beliefs and customs. Artifacts remain from this period and are on display in the various mission museums.

  • In Carmel-by-the-Sea, the Basilica of Mission San Carlos Borremeo del Rio Carmelo was founded by Fr. Junipero Serra in 1770, second of the 21 missions. The fledgling establishment was moved to the Rio Road site in 1771 and the Basilica was dedicated in 1797. Fr. Serra was buried within its grounds.
    Carmel Mission is considered the most authentically restored Franciscan mission, and despite its many events and services, the Mission’s courtyard and gardens are peaceful places to meditate or rest. Artifacts, clothing and vestments of the church are on display in the museum; entrance donations ($2 adult, $1 child) go to the restoration of the mission. Admission to the grounds and mission is free. Open Mon-Sat, 9:30am-4:15pm. Open one hour later on Sundays and remaining open until 7:15pm June through August.

  • Mission San Antonio de Padua was founded by Fr. Junipero Serra in 1771 and was the third of the 21 California missions; it is still an active parish. There are picnic tables on the grounds of this secluded area and the ever-present garden blooms with roses in season. Museum hours are 9:00am-6:00pm. About 10 miles northwest of King City. Take Jolon Road to Mission Road.

  • Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad was built 1791 and is the 13th of the 21 California missions. The Museum Chapel that stands today was built in 1828 and restored in 1954. The museum, open daily except Tuesdays, is free; fund-raisers and donations make continued restoration efforts possible. At the rear of the quadrangle, the ruins of the original adobe can be seen. Grounds open 8:00am-4:00pm; museum hours are 9am-4pm. Fort Romie Road in Soledad.