SAN FRANCISCO | There are plenty of reasons to visit San Francisco’s Mission District, but one whose significance is often unrealised by visitors who walk though the area is Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores).
The Spanish missions in California are a series of 21 early missions and military outposts that were established by Franciscan priests between 1769 and 1833 in Alta California. Their purpose was to spread Christianity among the local Native Americans.
Mission Dolores was dedicated in October 1776, a few months after Spanish explorers Don Gaspar de Portolà and Father Juan Crespi claimed the area which they named after Saint Francis of Assisi. The original Mission chapel was replaced in 1791 buy the building which still stands today.
At its peak in the early 1800s, the Mission saw a lot of activity. More than just churches, the Missions of Alta California were farming communities, manufacturers of all sorts of products, hotels, ranches, hospitals, schools, and community centres.
The large structure next door to the Mission chapel is the Mission Dolores Basilica, which was completed in 1918 and remodeled in 1926. It replaced an 1876 Gothic Revival brick church which was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The original Mission chapel, while damaged, was not destroyed in the earthquake, and was restored in 1917.
Mission Dolores was dedicated to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and is still used as a parish today. It is open to the public.
Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores)
3321 16th Street
Telephone: 415 621 8203