San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission, Carmel

Mission · Hidden Gem · Religious Site
Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Río Carmelo, or Misión de San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, first built in 1797, is one of the most authentically restored Roman Catholic mission churches in California. Located at the mouth of Carmel Valley, California, it is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.

From 1797 until 1833, Carmel Mission was the headquarters of all Alta California missions. It was headed by Saint Junípero Serra from 1770 until his death in 1784. It was also the seat of the second missions presidente, Father Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, who was in charge of completing nine more mission churches.

In 1833 the mission buildings and lands were secularized by the Mexican government. By the mid-19th century, the Carmel Mission structures had fallen into disrepair. The chapel was saved from total destruction when the roof was rebuilt in 1884. In 1886, ownership of the mission was transferred from a group of Franciscans to the Diocese of Monterey. Ever since, Carmel Mission has been a parish within that Diocese.

Beginning in 1931, Harry Downie began restoring the mission and worked continuously on the project for the next 50 years. It is the only Spanish mission in California that has its original bell and bell tower.
By using our Carmel vacation planner, you can arrange your visit to San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission and other attractions in Carmel.
Source
Create an itinerary including San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
507 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a surprisingly large property. There are quite a few buildings to look through besides the Basilica. Its a very serene place to visit. Very well maintained. It's hard to imagine what it...  more »
  • I thought the grounds were gorgeous and the history very interesting, especially if you aren't stopping at other missions along the coast. The self-guided tour doesn't take long and is worth the...  more »

Plan your trip to Carmel

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Carmel

See all ›
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
4.9
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
4.6
Duration: 2 hours

Side trips from Carmel

4.5
Duration: 3 hours
4.1
Duration: 2 hours
5.0
Duration: 4 hours

Hidden gems in Carmel

4.8
Duration: 2 hours
5.0
Duration: 2 hours
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
4.9
Duration: 2 hours

Museums in Carmel

4.8
Duration: 2 hours
4.9
Duration: 1h 30 min
5.0
Duration: 30 minutes

Wineries in Carmel

4.7
Duration: 2 hours
4.4
Duration: 2 hours
4.3
Duration: 1 hour
4.3
Duration: 1h 30 min

Nearby attractions in Carmel

5.0
Duration: 2 hours
5.0
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
4.8
Duration: 2 hours