Founded in 1771, Carmel Mission is the second oldest Catholic mission that was built during the days when much of California was a Spanish colony (i.e.,Alta California).
And it is the historic landmark from which the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea draws its name.
The mission is still an active parish with daily mass (hours vary), Sunday service, et. al. It is also home to the oldest library in California, which boasts a 400-year-old Bible that one of the friars brought with him to California from Spain.
There are several permanent and special exhibitions that will give you a glimpse into what life was like for California’s first European settlers and indigenous tribes who, by and large, were forced into laboring on the mission and giving up their centuries-old native ways.