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Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo (often called “Mission Carmel”) was first established in 1770 in Monterey, California, and in 1771, the Viceroy approved Father Junipero Serra‘s request to move the Mission to its current location near Carmel-by-the-Sea. Mission Carmel was Father’s Serra’s favorite, being located close to the Capital of Alta California, Monterey, and the Mission served as his headquarters. When Father Serra died in 1784, he was interred beneath the floor of the sanctuary of the chapel, at the foot of the altar.

Native Americans of the Esselen and Ohlone groups who lived at the Mission numbered 927 at the peak in 1794, but by 1823, the number had declined to 381. Over 4000 Native Americans were baptized at Mission Carmel between 1770 and 1836.Throughout the church are interred over 200 Native Americans and Spainards. The Mission was secularized in 1834 and the church and quadrangle gradually fell into ruin. The United States took control of California in 1846, and after a decision by the U.S. Lands Commission in 1859, title of the Mission property was returned to Bishop Joseph Sadoc Alemany and his successors by President James Buchanan. In 1884, Father Angel Casanova undertook the restoration of this historic landmark. In 1961, Mission Carmel was designated a Minor Basilica by Pope John XXIII, and in 1987, Pope John Paul II visited the Mission in his tour of the United States.

Today the Mission is a place of pilgrimage for visitors from all over the world, as well as a National Historic Landmark, and an active parish church for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey. Perhaps as importantly, the Mission is a place of beauty, where you can see the original cross from atop the Mission, beautiful gardensthe bell tower, a courtyard fountain, several shrines (12), a large cross in the courtyard, hallwaysstairways, and wonderful plantings. You can also see Father Serra’s room at the Mission, and other treasures too numerous to mention here. Be sure to include a trip to Mission Carmel in your visit to Monterey.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®.

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