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List of Missions in California
Mission History

Prior to 1754, grants of mission lands were made directly by the Spanish Crown, however given the remote locations and the difficulties in communicating with the territorial governments, power was transferred to the viceroys of New Spain. The 21 California missions were established along the section of California's El Camino Real (Spanish for "The Royal Highway," though often referred to as "The King's Highway"), much of which is now U.S. Route 101 and several Mission Streets. The mission planning was begun in 1767 under the leadership of Fray Junípero Serra. California is home to the greatest number of well-preserved missions found in any U.S. state. Today, these California missions are among the oldest structures and the most visited historic monuments in California.
List of Spanish Missions in California, in geographical order, North to South

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Mission San Francisco Solano was founded on July 4, 1823, and is the northernmost Alta California mission. By 1839, the Mission was in ruins and unoccupied. Through the years the Mission saw different uses, among these a blacksmith's shop, a barn, a storeroom and even a saloon. Today, the Mission is part of the Sonoma State Historic Park, open to visitors and has a small museum. Mission San Francisco Solano is located in Sonoma. San Francisco Mission

Mission San Rafael Arcangel was founded on December 14, 1817. Mission San Rafael Arcangel was Alta California's first sanitarium. Today the Mission San Rafael Arcángel sits next to the St. Raphael Parish of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, on the site of the original hospital in San Rafael, California. It is open to visitors and has a small museum. Mission San Rafael Arcangel is located in San Rafael, CA. Mission San Rafael Arcangel

Mission San Francisco de Asís is the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco. The Mission chapel has remained relatively unchanged since its construction in 1782–1791. The California Gold Rush brought renewed activity to the Mission Dolores area. In the 1850s, two plank roads were constructed from what is today downtown San Francisco to the Mission. Mission San Francisco de Asís was also commonly known as "Mission Dolores". The mission is easily accessible by public transit. Mission San Francisco de Asís

Mission San Jose was founded on June 11, 1797 on a site located in the "Mission San Jose District" of Fremont, California. The original mission complex consisted of over 100 adobe buildings, the padre's quarters is now a small museum. The church has a regular Mass schedule and also has a visitors' center, museum and slide show telling the history of the Mission. San Jose Mission

Mission Santa Clara de Asís was founded on January 12, 1777. Mission Santa Clara sits on the campus of the Santa Clara University. Mission Santa Clara de Asís.

Mission Santa Cruz was founded on September 25, 1791. Santa Cruz Mission

Mission San Juan Bautista is the largest of the Spanish missions in California, the mission was founded on June 24, 1797 in what is now the San Juan Bautista Historic District of San Juan Bautista, California. Barracks for the soldiers, a nunnery, the Jose Castro House, and other buildings were constructed around a large grassy plaza in front of the church and can be seen today in their original form. Mission San Juan Bautista was restored initially 1884, and then again in 1949 with funding from the Hearst Foundation, and today continues to serve as a parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey. Mission San Juan Bautista

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo (Carmel Mission) was founded on June 3, 1770 by Father Junipero Serra. The centerpiece of Carmel Mission, is the Basilica Church, a registered National Historic Landmark. The Harry Downie Museum, located in the forecourt to the Basilica, houses interpretive displays and artifacts. The Munras courtyard houses the Munras Family Heritage Museum with displays and keepsakes of one prominent Monterey family. The Convento Museum is the cell used by Junipero Serra and were he died in 1784. Carmel Mission is a historic Roman Catholic mission church in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Carmel Mission

Mission Nuestra Senora de la Soledad was founded on October 9, 1791, at the site of an Esselen Indian village. Though prosperous in its early years, the Mission declined after 1825. The ruins of the quadrangle, cemetery, and some of the outer rooms can still be seen. Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is located south of Soledad, CA. Soledad Mission

Mission San Antonio de Padua was founded on July 16, 1771, the third mission founded in Alta California by Father Presidente Junípero Serra, and site of the first Christian marriage and first use of fired-tile roofing in Upper California. Mission San Antonio is located northwest of Jolon, CA. San Antonio Mission

Mission San Miguel Arcangel, in San Miguel

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, in San Luis Obispo

Mission La Purísima Concepcion, northeast of Lompoc

Mission Santa Ines, in Solvang

Mission Santa Barbara, also known as Santa Barbara Mission, was founded December 4, 1786. Mission Santa Barbara is the only mission to remain under the leadership of the Franciscan Friars since the day of its founding. The appearance of the inside of the church has not been altered significantly since 1820. The original fountain and lavadero are also intact near the entrance to the Mission. The Mission archive is the oldest library in the State of California that still remains in the hands of its founders, the Franciscans.The Mission also has the oldest unbroken tradition of choral singing among the California Missions. Santa Barbara Mission.

Mission San Buenaventura, in Ventura

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana, in Mission Hills (Los Angeles)

San Gabriel Mission Archangel in San Gabriel was founded by Spaniards of the Franciscan Order on "The Feast of the Birth of Mary" September 8, 1771. Visitors can tour the church, museum and grounds. The adobe museum building was originally used for sleeping quarters and book storage. Exhibits include mission relics, books and religious artifacts. The grounds feature operations from the original mission complex, including indoor and outdoor kitchens, winery, water cisterns, soap and candle vats, tanning vats for preparing cattle hides, and a cemetery. San Gabriel Mission Archangel

San Juan Capistrano Mission Period (1769 – 1833). Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded on All Saints Day November 1, 1776 by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order. Mission San Juan Capistrano had over seventy adobe structures. California's first vineyard was located on the Mission grounds, with the planting of the "Mission" or "Criollo" grape in 1779. Now the Mission is perhaps best known for the annual "Return of the Swallows" which is traditionally observed every March 19 (Saint Joseph's Day). The Mission's location near two rivers made it an ideal location for the swallows to nest. Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, also known as San Luis Rey Mission Church, was founded on June 13, 1798 in what is now the town of Oceanside, California. This church, built in 1811 is a National Historic Landmark. In its prime, the San Luis Rey Mission compound covered almost 6 acres, making it one of the most extensive of all the missions. The first California pepper tree planted in California in 1830 sits in the courtyard. Today, Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is a working mission, cared for by the people who belong to the parish, and is still being restored. There is a museum and visitors center at Mission San Luis Rey de Francia

Mission San Diego de Alcalá, in San Diego



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