Carmel is at the northern end of the Big Sur region and apart from being home to some of the wealthiest people in the US is home to the famous Carmel Mission or to give its full title: San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission.
The Carmel Mission was not the first of the Missions but is historically the most important, having been the headquarters of the expansion of the Missions throughout California.
The first Mission established was at San Diego where it was attached to the Presidio, or fort, during the Spanish occupation of California in the late 1770's. The second Mission was originally established at Monterey, once again as part of the Presidio. Here however the father in charge of the Mission, Fr Serra, was concerned about the way the Spanish soldiers were treating the natives and so decided to move the Mission further down the coast to Carmel, away from the Presidio with the hope of establishing a genuine rapport with the local population.
This approach seems to have worked and in subsequent years the Missions developed throughout the region first under the leadership of Fr Serra and later Fr Lasuen, who was responsible for the building of the stone church.
The Mission is open for both self-guided and docent-led tours - details from website:
Carmel Mission Church otherwise known as the Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo, one of the 21 spanish missions along the california area and was relocated to Carmel from Monterey in 1771 by the Blessed Juniperro Serra.
The Carmel Mission was the headquarters of the original upper Las Californias Province missions headed by Father (Blessed) Junípero Serra from 1770 until his death in 1784. The Carmel Mission of one of the things to do in this Small Town of Carmel By the Sea and is a must for religous travellers and for history buffs.
Visiting hours at the Carmel Mission are from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday and 10:30 am to 5:00 pm on Sunday. The Mission is closed Easter Sunday and Monday, Thanksgiving, and over the Christmas holidays from Dec. 24 through Dec. 26. Admissions for upkeep and restoration are $6.50 for adults, $4.00 for seniors, $2.00 for children ages 7 and up (free for children under 6).