Because of its architecture and its location on Monterey Bay, the Carmel Mission, as it is generally known, is one of the most beautiful of the mission stations. When it was founded it formed the northernmost point of Spanish dominance. Here, too, soldiers and priests soon separated; Serra moved the mission station some 5mi/8km into a valley by the Carmel river.
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Map
3080 Rio Road, Carmel, CA 93923-9144, United States
9:30am-5pm; Sun: 10:30am-5pm
Always closed on: Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD:
Adult $6.50, Senior over 65 $4.00, Child 17 & under $2.00, Child 6 & under FREE
Useful tips: Photography is permitted.
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
Typical Visit: 1 hour 30 minutes
It remained Serra's headquarters until his death, by which time there were already nine mission stations. Here you can still see the spartanly simple room with its wooden bed and writing table, from which Serra supervised the mission stations and watched over the baptism of more than 5,000 Indians.
From 1934 onwards the mission and the church, built in 1797 in the Moorish style by a Mexican stone-mason, were restored in their old form. It is one of the few mission stations to retain its square inner courtyard. Here, too, lies the tomb of Serra, who was canonized by Pope John Paul II on September 25th 1988.
Today the Carmel Mission, as it is most commonly known, is still an active parish. It maintains five museums, although the main attraction of any visit is the Basilica Church, a Historic Landmark building. The other attractions include the Harry Downie Museum, the Munrás Family Heritage Museum, the Jo Mora Chapel Gallery, and the Convento Museum. On display are artifacts, information on the restoration work, heirlooms a Monterey family, along with art and interpretive displays. In the Jo Mora Chapel Gallery is the impressive Serra Memorial Cenotaph.
Tours are available, run by volunteers who explain the history and significance of the Carmel Mission. Visitors can also opt for a self guided tour with brochures offered in various languages.
The mission is situated about 5mi/8km from Monterey, on the southern edge of Carmel.