The historic Mission in Carmel CA is worth a visit.
Named San Carlos Borromeo this might be the most beautiful of all California missions. It is here that Fr. Serra, the man who landed in Monterey in 1770 to claim the territory for Spain, made his headquarters for his California missionary work, and where he was buried upon his death in 1784. A year after its founding, the mission was moved from Monterey to a beautiful site in Carmel Valley near the Pacific Ocean. The first Monterey site was inadequate for growing crops, and a distance from where the Native Americans resided.
Fr. Serra was buried in the sanctuary beside the altar in the adobe church. A few years later the current large stone church was built around the small adobe church.
When secularization occurred in 1834 all of the mission lands, except the church site, were sold to private parties. The great stone mission church was abandoned and for 30 years stood roofless after its collapse in 1851.Earthquakes also took their toll and the church fell into total ruin, Enough money was eventually raised in 1884 to build a new roof, but the steep pitch was out of place with the original design. The latest restoration, begun in the 1930's, has restored a more suitable roof, and is the most authentic restoration in the entire mission chain. Each Mission was a day's ride from another, according to Serra's plan.
While strolling the streets of Venice FL last week I ran into a fellow who was sporting a Carmel tee shirt. Seems he knew and worked with Harry Downey, a gentleman who made it his life's work to rehabilitate these historic structures. We spoke about the history of the place and it's continuing use as both a school and a church. During the Christmas season and the Bach Festival each summer there are concerts held in the sanctuary. Blankets help on cold evenings there but the acoustics are wonderful for an adobe structure.
There is a small admission charge to visit the church other than during Mass but it goes toward the ongoing restoration projects. In my view, the Carmel Mission is worth a visit and taking time to see an historical place in a resort town, tucked away and almost as it was nearly three hundred years ago.
This is a great place to see and you can stay around the corner at Clint's Mission Ranch while you do.
Thank you for sharing this. It is fortuitous timing for me, as we will be spending the last week in April in Carmel for a family reunion. I will now look forward to visiting the mission. I did not know that Fr. Serra's design was to have each mission within a day's ride of one another.
Yes that was the plan. If you start in San Diego and head North they are spaced at that distance. Also you may know that Fr. Sierra's tomb was visited by the Pope in 1987. Also while in Monterey consider a visit to San Carlos Cathedral, an historic church and one of the smallest Cathedrals in the US. They have daily tours
Okay, I have it all mapped out. Thank you again!
P.S. I didn't realize how many golf courses there are on the peninsula. I think that even though we are non-golfers, we will have to pay a visit to Pebble Beach's Pro-Am at least once, if just to enjoy the scenery. Probably need to make hotel reservations now for next year? When we were younger, we used to enjoy Moto GP weekend at Laguna Seca, and we found we needed to make our reservations a year out also. Plus, the hotels would bump up the rates for that weekend by 200 or more percent.
Actually based on this year's attendance mentioned in the paper there were vacancies galore during the AT&T. Other than the Marriott, there are some great places to stay: The Clement, an Intercontinental Hotel, on Cannery Row is elegant, and the Monterey Plaza, nearby on the Row, is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World Group--Grand Pianos in the Suites, etc.
My wife was down to see that mission many years ago, and told me how beautiful it is down there. I noticed the menu at the Mission Ranch looks like it would definitely be a place to eat. I was figuring if we ever get down there, we'd check on availability of the SS guided tour
If you go to the mission be sure the note the Father Sierra cenotaph in the Jo Mora Memorial Chapel. It would worth a few minutes to look up Jo Mora on the Internet. I am a great fan and you turn out to be the same this is the place to see his work. If you like the Mission you will probably like the adobes. There are several and they take a little time to sort out. If your interested Cal parks and Monterey have web sites. You can also find out a schedules and directions at the Cupper Maliro building at the top of Alvarado St in Monterey. Much much more Early California.
Also check out the Laguna Seca web site. There are six events this year. It is a great track and you can get closer to the cars and drivers than any other track.
And do not forget the aquarium.
Good luck and let me know if I might provide any more info.