Once the headquarters of St. Junipero Serra's Atla California missions, Mission San Carlos de Borromeo del rio Carmelo is a lasting landmark not only of California's religious and political history but also of the enduring legacy of the Catholic community.
Carmel Mission, as it is otherwise known, was founded in 1770 and held Father Serra's offices from its founding until his death in 1784. Father Serra favored the location for its close proximity to Monterey, the capital of Alta California. Unfortunately, the mission and lands were seized by the Mexican government in 1833, secularized, and allowed to recede into disrepair. In 1886, the mission was reassigned to the Franciscans, restored, and reestablished as a community church. To this day, Carmel Mission continues to perform as a living, working Catholic Church.
Every year, thousands of pilgrims and interested travelers make their way to beautiful Carmel Mission. Because of dedicated individuals, Carmel Mission is now one of the most authentically restored mission churches in California, and a supremely beautiful historical landmark. Like many of its sister churches, Carmel Mission also supports a museum for the education of its visitors and offers guided tours for schools, groups, and families. Carmel Mission is also the location of the Shrine of Saint Junipero Serra, preserving some of the vestments worn by the great priest during his time at Carmel Mission.