San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission
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Carmel Beach City Park
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3080 Rio Rd · interesting places nearby
San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission information
Monterey's original mission was established by Franciscan friar Junípero Serra in 1770, but poor soil and the corrupting influence of Spanish soldiers forced the move to Carmel two years later. Today this is one of California's most strikingly beautiful missions, an oasis of solemnity bathed in flowering gardens. The mission’s adobe chapel was later replaced with an arched basilica made of stone quarried in the Santa Lucia Mountains. Museum exhibits are scattered throughout the meditative complex.
The spartan cell attributed to Serra looks like something out of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, while a separate chapel houses his memorial tomb. Don’t overlook the gravestone of ‘Old Gabriel,’ a Native American convert whom Serra baptized, and whose dates put him at 151 years old when he died. People say he smoked like a chimney and outlived seven wives. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.