Mission San Carlos Borrome'o de Carmel, Traveling in California
Spain wished to colonize The California Lands, the Catholic Franciscan order wished to bring Christianity to the Natives, and thus The Mission period (1769-1835) along The El Camino Road was born. El Camino Real, the road to connect the 21 missions along the California coast made traveling from one to the other possible.
Mission San Carlos Borrome'o de Carmel, the 2nd oldest of these missions was named for Saint Charles Borromeo. It is considered to be the most beautiful of all the missions and was the headquarters. Father Junipero Serra built the mission, his favorite and is infact buried beneath the alter. This is a must see, and is just south of the city of Carmel.
There is much to see while traveling throughout the grounds, diorama's depicted it's early history, original bibles, pictures showing the various stages of The Mission, a grave yard, beautiful gardens with statues, and of course an impressive gift shop.
Secularization occurred in 1834 putting an end to the missions. They were all sold to private parties, except the church which fell into terrible disrepair. It stood empty, with a collapsed roof for 30 years. The first attempt at repair/rehab took place in 1884, and the 2nd in 1930.
If you're traveling with children make a point to spend ample time in front of these diorama's. There are several and detail is fabulous. Would also be a great way to introduce your children to making a diorama of vacation once they return home.
Touring this mission is very educational for people of all ages, I highly recommend it. What a peaceful thing to do with the family after a hectic hot day at the beach, or perhaps on a rainy day while on vacation. Encourage the kids to write about their visits to interesting places while you travel.