A Quick Visit to San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission

From 17-Mile Drive, Monterey, we paid a quick visit to the Carmel Mission on our way to Frisco. Uncle E wants us to be in Frisco by nighttime to have more time to rest because the following day is packed. We only have the following day to take in Frisco.

Unfortunately, the Basilica was closed for an event that morning of our visit. We just went around to admire the quaint, cute and charming compound, bought a few souvenirs which included fridge magnets to add to my collection and said a short little prayer before we left. It would have been neat to see the Basilica from within and say a prayer in front of its altar.

The Mission

Carmel Mission is on the National Register of Historic Places and a US National Historic Landmark.

Carmel Mission is the 2nd of the 21 missions of California built by the Spanish Franciscan friars. It was founded in June 3, 1770 and named in honor of St. Charles Borromeo of Arona, Italy and the Carmel river that flows nearby. It was the headquarters of the Alta California missions headed by Fr. Junipero Serra from 1770 to 1784.

Today, the Mission still holds mass and offers attractions which includes a gallery, museums, exhibits and guided tours.

This is my first visit to a California mission, the second one being Mission Sta. Barbara two years later.

The Souvenir Shop / Visitor’s Entrance


The Basilica




the south bell tower
statue of St. Francis in the Mission’s courtyard
Spanish-style window
the main courtyard of the mission compound
the spot marked by the cross is where Fr. Junipero Serra erected the Mission Cross


statue of Fr. Junipero Serra


Indian Cemetery


Serra Memorial Prayer Garden


Flowers and Others

The gardens in the compound give more character to the Mission. The flowers accent the Moorish/Spanish-style architecture and gives a tranquil and heavenly atmosphere to the place. Apart from spiritual retreat this place offers, I must say this is also a photographer’s or an artist’s haven.








Apparently, there’s a lot more to the California missions than being a place for spiritual renewal. My visits to 2 of these are proof that we need to plan and allot more time on our visits to Missions next time.



2 thoughts on “A Quick Visit to San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission

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