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Carmel Mission Basilica Museum

The Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, or Carmel Mission Basilica Museum, is one of California's most important cultural and historical heritage sites, dating back to 1770. Explore this National Historic Landmark in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Before You Go

  • Hours
    • 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Wednesday through Saturday
    • 12:300 pm - 4:00 pm Sunday
  • Prices
    • $10 for Adults, $7for Seniors, $5 for Children 7 to 17
  • Events
    • Carmel Mission Classic
    • Lenten/Holy Week
    • Live concerts
  • Activities
    • History
    • Art
    • Culture
    • Music
    • Tours
    • Museum Store

Travel Tips

What is the history of the Carmel Mission?

The second mission built by Franciscans in Northern California was first established in 1770, moving to its current site a year later. It was secularized and abandoned by the Mexican government in 1833 and was restored by the Roman Catholic church, which assumed control of it in 1863. In 1931, the church transferred control to a local diocese and it became a parish church. In 1960, Pope John XXII designated it a minor basilica. Pope John Paul II visited in 1987.

What exhibits can I see at Carmel Mission?

The Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo contains five museums and galleries that each offer a unique perspective on the region's history and culture. The Basilica Church displays Spanish Colonial liturgical art. The Harry Downie Museum tells the story of the Mission's restoration. The Munrás Family Heritage Museum displays a private collection from a prominent Monterey family. The Jo Mora Chapel Gallery houses the Serra Memorial Cenotaph sculpture and an art exhibit with rotating exhibitions. Finally, the Convento Museum provides additional context for the history and culture of this important site.


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