U. S. Mission Trail / The Mission Trail Today - The Spanish Missions in California
Slide Show This site is owned, designed, and operated by Kenneth A. Larson who has over a quarter century of experience in design and construction of scenery for the Entertainment Industry and Theme Parks using Computer Aided and Traditional approaches to Design. Ken also has experience in other areas of Design.
Select photographs of my many visits to The Missions of the United States South and Southwest built by Spain and Mexico between 1565 and 1823.
All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2008 - 2013.

Explanation.

Back
Main California Page
Main U. S. Page
Previous Mission
By Founding Date
Next Mission
Previous Mission
South to North
Next Mission
California Main Page/Map

#20, San Rafael Arcángel

Founded December 14, 1817
by Father Vicente de Sarria.
San Rafael.

Personal Observations

My wife and I visited Mission San Rafael Arcángel on February 7, 2004. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and the mission plaza was filled with people going about their activities. Sadly, little remains of the original mission, just a few relics in the Gift Shop/Museum and a few in the reproduction Mission Church. However, the Mission is still a vital and active part of the community. A large new church sits a few feet from the reproduction Mission Church. On this very busy Saturday, there was a wedding just getting started in the large church and a funeral in the smaller Mission Church. The Saturday Catechism classes must have just let out and people were streaming through the plaza in front of the small Mission Church. There were adults sitting and children playing and even a few tourists had come to view the Mission. While Mission San Rafael Arcángel may not be as well restored as most of the other missions, it is still a vital part of its Parish and is still serving its mission to bring the word of God to the people.
Photo-Art pending Mission Art & Photo-Art

History

San Rafael Arcángel was the last mission built by Spain in California. There were four priests involved with its founding. Mission San Francisco Solano, built six years later, was the only mission built by Mexico after its independence from Spain.

Mission San Rafael was built to care for sick Indians from Mission San Francisco, in an area called Nanaguanui. Named after Saint Rafael, the patron saint of good health. Prior to achieving full mission status, this site was used as a hospital for Indians who were suffering from the damp climate and European-introduced diseases. The noticeably warmer San Rafael location was named after the archangel whose name means "healing power of God." Full mission status was granted in 1822. It was in that same year that funding for the Missions was cut off.

The Mission was abandoned soon after its founding.

A replica Mission was built in 1949, but it does not closely resemble the original.

Address and Directions

1104 Fifth Avenue
San Rafael, 94901.
415 454-8141

From US-101: Exit from US-101 at Central San Rafael. Turn left onto 5th Street. The mission is at 5th and A Street.

Photography Gallery

Front
Front of church. This is a reproduction of the original mission church. Photo date: 2-7-04.

Mission Church interior. Photo date: 12-3-04.
Front of Church
Front of Church. Photo date: 2-7-04.
Bell and Entrance
Bell and entrance. Photo date: 2-7-04.

Front of mission shurch with new church beyond. Photo date: 12-3-04.
Museum - Gift Shop
Museum and Gift Shop. Photo date: 12-3-04.
Bells
Bells. Photo date: 12-3-04.
Bells
Bells. Photo date: 12-3-04.
Front of Church
Front of Church. Photo date: 12-3-04.
Front of Church
Front of Church. Photo date: 12-3-04.
Front of Church
Front of Church. Photo date: 12-3-04.
Windows
These windows are believed to be copied from Carmel when the mission was restored. Photo date: 12-3-04.
Cross
Cross. Photo date: 12-3-04.
Statue
Statue. Photo date: 12-3-04.

Bell and Sign with cross beyond. South side of church to right. Photo date: 2-7-04.
Statue
Statue. Photo date: 2-7-04.
Church Interior Church interior. The cycle of life was played out the day we visited. While a funeral took place in the mission church, a wedding was in progress in the newer church. Photo date: 2-7-04. Mission Museum
The Mission Museum. Photo date: 2-7-04.
Mission Museum
The Mission Museum. Photo date: 2-7-04.
Mission Museum
The Mission Museum. Photo date: 2-7-04.
New Church
The new church. Photo date: 2-7-04.
New Church
The new church. Photo date: 2-7-04.
New Church
New Church. Photo date: 12-3-04.
New Church
New Church. Photo date: 12-3-04.
New Church
New Church. Photo date: 12-3-04.
New Church
New Church. Photo date: 12-3-04.
New Church
New Church. Photo date: 12-3-04.
From North
The Mission Church and the new church from the back (north).
City of San Rafael
The mission is now in the heart of the City of San Rafael. Photo date: 12-3-04. links here


Sources:

Back
Main California Page
Main U. S. Page
Previous Mission
By Founding Date
Next Mission
Previous Mission
South to North
Next Mission
California Main Page/Map
Top US Page Back
This page last updated: Sunday, 11-Aug-2013 02:37:14 EDT
Note:This is not the official site for any of the places shown in US Mission Trail. US Mission Trail is not responsible for accuracy of the information. Hours of operations, prices, and exhibits are subject to change without notice.

Support this Web Site

I hope that you find this web site helpful. It started because of my love for the California Missions and interest in History. I don't allow paid advertising (but this may change). This web site is for your benefit and enjoyment and I make no profit on it. For ten years it has been supported primarily from my regular paycheck as a Set Designer and there haven't been many the last few years. I can no longer run it without help. Alternative funding is needed. A non-tax deductable donation helps cover the cost of operating this web site and may be made to Kesign Design Consulting through PayPal.

Buy my Photographs or Art.
My Art

Or donations can be mailed to the address on the contact page.
If you are in the need of a designer, please see my portfolio site www.kesigndesign.com.
Kesign Design Consulting
or Set Design Portfolio.

Links

Web Design This site maintained by Kenneth A. Larson.
Copyright © 2004 - 2013, Kenneth A. Larson. All Rights Reserved.
Website content including photographic and graphic images may not be redistributed for use on another website.
Please Don't Pirate Videos
Valid HTML 5 Transitional Valid CSS!