Saint Teresa of Avila Church (Bodega, California)

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Saint Teresa of Avila Church
Saint Teresa of Avila Church, Bodega.jpg
Saint Teresa of Avila Church
Location Bodega, California, United States
Coordinates 38°20′46.31″N 122°58′21.1″W / 38.3461972°N 122.972528°W / 38.3461972; -122.972528Coordinates: 38°20′46.31″N 122°58′21.1″W / 38.3461972°N 122.972528°W / 38.3461972; -122.972528
Built 1859
Governing body Roman Catholic
Reference no. 820[1]

Saint Teresa of Avila Church is a Roman Catholic church in Bodega, California. The white, wooden church with a steeple sits on a hilltop overlooking Bodega Highway.


The church was built by shipbuilders in 1859 on land donated by Jasper O’Farrell and named after St. Teresa of Avila by local Spanish and Portuguese immigrants. Archbishop Alemany dedicated the church on June 2, 1861.[1] A California Historical Landmark, the church is still in use today and is the oldest church in continuous use in Sonoma County.

The original building was too small and was later expanded by cutting the church in half, pulling the two ends of the small church away from each other, and then building new walls and ceiling to fill in the newly created gap.

Also notable, the church interior has no center aisle, but rather two side aisles.[2]

Ansel Adams made the church the subject of a black and white photograph in 1953. The church is located directly next to the Bodega schoolhouse, which was the setting for the schoolhouse scene in Alfred Hitchcock's film, The Birds. The church was also seen in the film and Hitchcock attended services in the church.


  1. ^ a b "Saint Teresa of Avila Church, Bodega". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-15. 
  2. ^ "Occidental". Retrieved 2006-12-16. 

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