One-third of the California Missions are located in the Monterey Diocese, dating from June 3, 1770 to July 25, 1797.
Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo de Monterey (Royal Presidio Chapel)
Founded in June 3, 1770, by Blessed Junipero Serra
For many years the Royal Presidio Chapel served as the key church in the life of the Spanish province of Alta California. As the only church in the capital of the province, it was attended by provincial and foreign dignitaries and was the setting for important ceremonies. The present stone church was constructed in 1794 and was elevated to the rank of Cathedral of the Monterey Diocese in 1967. It has the distinction of being the smallest cathedral in the Continental United States.
Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
Founded in October 9, 1791, by Father Lasuen
This is the only old Mission in the diocese not used as a parish. This is about three miles west of Soledad. It was abandoned in 1834. In 1955, the chapel was restored and in 1962 one wing of the quadrangle was rebuilt. It was founded by Padres Lasuen, Sitjar and Garcia. The atmosphere of the original Mission can still be found there.
San Antonio de Padua
Founded in July 14, 1771, by Blessed Junipero Serra
This was the third Mission founded by Father Serra. This is the only Mission still found in its pristine condition. Much restoration was necessary, but it is the only Mission left in a beautiful lonely area, which was once the condition of all the Missions. The atmosphere here has hardly changed from the days of Father Serra.
San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
Founded in December 24, 1771, by Blessed Junipero Serra
This Mission, the second founded, was the favorite of Father Serra. He lies buried in the sanctuary of this church which is now known as Carmel Mission Basilica. The Moorish influence is unique in this architecture.
San Juan Bautista
Founded in June 24, 1797, by Father Lasuen
The town takes its name from the old Mission. This Mission has the largest church of any of the Missions, and its architecture and beauty are the best. Here is also found the only original Spanish Plaza remaining in California. This Mission has retained very well the charm of its former days. It also has an unbroken succession of Pastors from its original founding.
San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
Founded in September 1, 1772, by Blessed Junipero Serra
This Mission gives its name to the county and town. The original wing used as the residence of the Padres is now a fine museum. This was the first Mission to use the familiar red roof tiles to replace the thatched roof that was common to all of the original Missions.
San Miguel Arcãngel
Founded in July 25, 1797, by Father Lasuen
This Mission is in a remarkable state of preservation. It is only here in the entire chain of Missions that the painted wall and ceiling decorations are not retouched. The town of San Miguel takes its name from the Mission and is located on El Camino Real, or the "Kings' Highway" as are most of the Missions.
Santa Cruz Mission Replica
Founded in August 28, 1791, by Father Lasuen
In 1840 a tidal wave and an earthquake partially destroyed the buildings and in 1851 the remaining walls crumbled. The materials were carried off for other uses. No trace of the original Mission remains. A replica about half of the original size has been built on an approximate site.