Mission San Diego de Acalá
- The first mission founded in Alta California.
- The mission was destroyed by a Native American attack in 1775.
- The U.S. Army used the mission as barracks from 1853-1858.
Mission San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo
- The church was made of stone.
- Served as the headquarters to the California missions 1770-1803.
- Father Serra is buried here.
Mission San Antonio de Padua
- The first Christian wedding took place here in 1773 between a Native American and Spanish soldier.
- The first mission to make and use fired clay roof tiles.
- San Antonio was known for superior breeding of stock horses.
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel
- San Gabriel had the largest vineyard of the Alta California missions.
- The church looks “fortress like” and is modeled after a cathedral in Córdoba, Spain.
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
- The mission had the second largest vineyard in Alta California.
- The only mission church in California that is in the shape of an “L.”
- John C. Frémont and his “California Battalion” used the mission as their base of operations during the Mexican-American War.
Mission San Francisco de Asís
- Most frequently called “Mission Dolores.”
- Survived the earthquake and fire of 1906.
- The movie Vertigo, with James Stewart and Kim Novak, was filmed here.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
- San Juan Capistrano was founded twice, once in 1775 but due to the revolt in San Diego, it was abandoned and then refounded in 1776.
- 1812 earthquake destroyed the Great Stone Church.
- World famous for the Cliff Swallows migration every March.
Mission Santa Clara de Asís
- The mission site was relocated three times.
- The church was rebuilt six times because of various natural disasters.
- The mission site became Santa Clara University and is the oldest university in California.
Mission San Buenaventura
- San Buenaventura was supposed to be the third mission but its founding was delayed 13 years and so it became the ninth mission.
- In the 1890s, a misguided resident priest demolished all the mission buildings and remodeled the church in a Victorian style.
Mission Santa Bárbara
- After secularization in 1833, Santa Bárbara became the mission chain’s headquarters.
- Father Narcisco Durán made the mission the archival headquarters and still holds an archive of over 3,000 items dating back to the mission era.
- Santa Bárbara is the only mission operated by the Franciscans since its founding.
Mission La Purísima Concepcíon
- In 1824, a Native American revolt took place lasting solely one month.
- The National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps restored and reconstructed the mission in the 1930s and 1940s.
- La Purísima Concepcíon is operated by the California State Parks.
Mission Santa Cruz
- Santa Cruz is the only mission to have a tidal wave natural disaster.
- The first autopsy in California was performed at the mission on Father Andrés Quintana in 1812 to determine if he had been poisoned.
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
- José Joaquín de Arrillaga, the first Spanish governor of Alta California, died while visiting and was buried beneath the church floor.
Mission San José
- A Native American revolt occurred in 1828. The Native American leader was Estanislao. His struggle became legendary and his name anglicized to “Stanislaus” which became a prominent place name for local rivers, forests and landmarks.
- San José was renowned for the orchestra and choir led by Father Narciso Dúran.
- A smallpox and measles epidemic killed over 150 people in 1806.
Mission San Bautista
- Fr. Estevan Tapis led the renowned Native American boys choir of San Juan Bautista.
- The movie Vertigo with James Stewart and Kim Novak was filmed here.
- Donner Party survivors, The Breen Family, used the storeroom (present day giftshop) as a temporary home in 1847.
Mission San Miguel Arcángel
- Pio Pico sells the mission in 1846 to William Reed, who uses the mission as a family home. Two years later, the Reed family was mysteriously murdered.
- Between 1848-1870 the mission was rented as a store, dance hall, offices and a saloon.
Mission San Fernando Rey de España
- In 1821, San Fernando finished the longest building recorded in the mission chain, making it a total of 243 feet long.
- Restoration of the church was financed in part by selling thousands of candles for a $1.00 each in 1916.
Mission San Luis Rey de Francía
- Pablo Tac writes the first primary account by a Native American called Indian Life and Customs at Mission San Luis Rey: A Record of California Mission Life.
- In the 1950s, Walt Disney Studios used the ground to film the Zorro television series.
Mission Santa Inés Virgen y Mártir
- A Native American revolt begins in 1824 after a soldier beats a young boy.
- Santa Inés is one of the only missions to have gristmill ruins dating back to 1820.
Mission San Rafael Arcángel
- San Rafael Arcángel was originally dedicated as a hospital in 1817 and five years later was given mission status in 1822.
- A Native American revolt led by Chief Marin and Quintin in 1829 damaged many of the buildings.
- John C. Frémont used the mission as his headquarters during the Mexican American War.
Mission San Francisco Solano
- San Francisco Solano was the only mission founded during the Mexican rule of Alta California.
- Most frequently called “Mission Sonoma.”