Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
The façade of the capilla (chapel) at
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.
|Location||3080 Rio Rd.
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, 93923
|Name as founded||La Misión San Carlos Borromeo del Río Carmelo |
|English translation||The Mission of Saint Charles Borromeo of the Carmel River|
|Patron||Saint Charles Borromeo |
|Nickname(s)||"Father of the Alta California Missions" |
|Founding date||June 3, 1770 |
|Founding priest(s)||Father Presidente Junípero Serra|
|Founding Order||Second |
|Headquarters of the Alta California Mission System||1771–1815; 1819–1824;
|Military district||Third |
|Native place name(s)||Ekheya |
|Returned to the Church||1859 |
|Governing body||Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey|
|Current use||Parish Church|
|U.S. National Register of Historic Places|
|NRHP official name||Carmel Mission|
|NRHP designation date||October 15, 1966|
|U.S. National Historic Landmark|
|NHL designation date||October 9, 1960|
|California Historical Landmark|
Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo, also known as the Carmel Mission, is a Roman Catholic mission church in Carmel, California. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
A mission also was the seat of the padre presidente, Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen. It was destroyed in the mid-19th century, only to be restored beginning in 1884. It remains a parish church today. It is the only one of the California Missions to have its original bell tower dome.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2011)|
The mission, first established on June 3, 1770, in nearby Monterey, (near the native village of Tamo), was named for Charles Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan, Italy. It was the site of the first Christian confirmation in Alta California. In May, 1771, the viceroy approved Serra's petition to relocate the mission to its current location near the present-day town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Serra's goal was to put some distance between the mission's neophytes and the Presidio of Monterey, (the headquarters of Pedro Fages, who served as military governor of Alta California between 1770 and 1774, with whom Serra was engaged in a heated power struggle). The original site continued to operate as the "Royal Presidio Chapel" and later became the Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo. "Mission Carmel" (as it came to be known) was Serra's favorite and, being close to Monterey (the capital of Alta California), served as his headquarters. When he died on August 28, 1784, he was interred beneath the chapel floor.
The Esselen and Ohlone Indians who lived near the mission were taken in and trained as plowmen, shepherds, cattle herders, blacksmiths, and carpenters. They made adobe bricks, roof tiles and tools needed to build the mission. In the beginning, the mission relied on bear meat from Mission San Antonio de Padua and supplies brought by ship from Mission San Diego de Alcalá. In 1794, the population reached its peak of 927, but by 1823 the total had dwindled to 381. On November 20, 1818, French privateer Hipólito Bouchard raided the Monterey Presidio, before moving on to other Spanish installations in the south. The mission was in ruins when the Roman Catholic Church regained control of it in 1863. In 1884 Father Angel Casanova undertook the work of restoration. In 1931, Monsignor Philip Scher appointed Harry Downie to be curator in charge of mission restoration; it became an independent parish two years later. In 1961, the mission was designated as a minor basilica by Pope John XXIII. As a result of Downie's dedicated efforts to restore the buildings, the Carmel mission church is one of the most authentically restored of all the mission churches in California. In 1987, Pope John Paul II visited the mission as part of his U.S. tour.
In addition to its activity as a place of worship, Mission Carmel also hosts concerts, art exhibits, lectures and numerous other community events. In 1986, Monsignor Eamon MacMahon, then pastor of Carmel Mission, acquired a magnificent Casavant organ complete with horizontal trumpets for the basilica. Its hand-painted casework is decorated with elaborate carvings and statuary reflecting the Spanish decorative style seen on the main altar.
Carmel also serves as a museum, preserving its own history and the history of the area. There are four specific museum galleries: the Harry Downie Museum, describing restoration efforts; the Munras Family Heritage Museum, describing the history of one of the most important area families; the Jo Mora Chapel Gallery, hosting a cenotaph sculpted by Jo Mora as well as rotating art exhibits; and the Convento Museum, which holds the cell Serra lived and died in, as well as interpretive exhibits.
The mission grounds are also the location of the Junipero Serra School, a private Catholic school for kindergartners through 8th grade. At one end of the museum is a special chapel room containing some of the vestments used by Serra.
Several notable people are buried in the church and churchyard.
- Juan Crespí (1721–1782), Spanish missionary and explorer
- Fermín Lasuén (1736–1803), Spanish missionary
- José Antonio Roméu, Spanish governor of California
- Junípero Serra (1713–1784), founder of the mission
- Leffingwell, p. 113
- Krell, p. 83
- Ruscin, p. 25
- Yenne, p. 33
- Ruscin, p. 196
- Yenne, p. 186
- Forbes, p. 202
- Ruscin, p. 195
- Krell, p. 315: as of December 31, 1832; information adapted from Engelhardt's Missions and Missionaries of California.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- NHL Summary
- "Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo". Office of Historical Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Dillon, James (September 4, 1976). "Mission San Carlos De Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places – Inventory Nomination Form. National Park Service. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "Mission San Carlos De Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo" (pdf). Photographs. National Park Service. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- Smith, p. 18: The mission was established in the new location on August 1, 1771; the first mass was celebrated on August 24, and Serra officially took up residence in the newly constructed buildings on December 24.
- Paddison, p. 23: Fages regarded the Spanish installations in California as military institutions first, and religious outposts second.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo|
- Cathedral of San Carlos Borroméo (aka Royal Presidio Chapel), Monterey, California
- USNS Mission Carmel (AO-113), a Buenaventura Class fleet oiler built during World War II.
- USNS Mission San Carlos (AO-120), a Buenaventura Class fleet oiler built during World War II.
- Forbes, Alexander (1839). California: A History of Upper and Lower California. Smith, Elder and Co., Cornhill, London.
- Jones, Terry L. and Kathryn A. Klar (eds.) (2007). California Prehistory: Colonization, Culture, and Complexity. AltaMira Press, Landham, MD. ISBN 0-7591-0872-2.
- Krell, Dorothy (ed.) (1979). The California Missions: A Pictorial History. Sunset Publishing Corporation, Menlo Park, CA. ISBN 0-376-05172-8.
- Leffingwell, Randy (2005). California Missions and Presidios: The History & Beauty of the Spanish Missions. Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN. ISBN 0-89658-492-5.
- Paddison, Joshua (ed.) (1999). A World Transformed: Firsthand Accounts of California Before the Gold Rush. Heyday Books, Berkeley, CA. ISBN 1-890771-13-9.
- Ruscin, Terry (1999). Mission Memoirs. Sunbelt Publications, San Diego, CA. ISBN 0-932653-30-8.
- Smith, Frances Rand (1921). The Architectural History of Mission San Carlos Borromeo, California. California Historical Survey Commission, Berkeley, CA.
- Vancouver, George (1801). A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World, Volume III. Printed for John Stockdale, Piccadilly, London.
- Yenne, Bill (2004). The Missions of California. Advantage Publishers Group, San Diego, CA. ISBN 1-59223-319-8.
- Official Site
- Elevation & Site Layout sketches of the Mission proper
- Early photographs, sketches, land surveys of Carmel Mission, via Calisphere, California Digital Library
- Listing and photographs at the Historic American Buildings Survey
- Howser, Huell (December 8, 2000). "California Missions (105)". California Missions. Chapman University Huell Howser Archive.