Misión Santa Gertrudis

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Santa Gertrudis map.png

Mission Santa Gertrudis, called Dolores del Norte by some historians, was founded by the Jesuit missionary Jorge Retz in 1751 among the Cochimí Indians of the Baja California Peninsula, about 80 kilometers north of San Ignacio. The mission is located in the modern-day Mexican state of Baja California.

The future mission site was found by the missionary-explorer Ferdinand Konščak in 1750, and work at the site was begun before the formal founding of the mission. Construction actually began under the direction of the German Jesuit Jorge Retz in 1752. Konščak's sponsors for establishing this mision were the Marquis de Villapuente and his wife Dona Gertrudis de la Peña after whom the mision was named. Konščak would die shortly after selecting the site leaving the task of building the mission to his successor Retz, but stipulated that the name of the mission be changed from Our Lady of Sorrows, North to Santa Gertrudis. Assisted by Andrés Comanji, Retz discovered a spring as well as ancient rock paintings a mere three kilometers from the site of the mission. He enlisted the aid of the Cochimi to transport water from the spring of Santa Gertrudis[1] and used it to establish vineyards for sacramental wine production. These vines became the basis for the contemporary vineyards of Baja California.[2]

The architecture of the mission is reminiscent of the medieval styles of the country of origin of Retz, with carved stone. The beautiful church doors are flanked by finely decorated obelisk style columns.

The mission was finally abandoned in 1822. The church was extensively renovated in 1997, substantially altering its historical character.


  1. ^ "Mission Santa Gertrudis: the beginnings of a large region". El Vigia. Retrieved October 21, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Mission Santa Gertrudis Magna in Baja California". Mexico in Time. Retrieved October 21, 2016. 
  • Vernon, Edward W. 2002. Las Misiones Antiguas: The Spanish Missions of Baja California, 1683-1855. Viejo Press, Santa Barbara, California.

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