The most often heard comments from visitor’s center around the natural and spiritual beauty, of the Mission. They also show an appreciation of the historical legacy it represents. Through its five museums, the Carmel Mission addresses the history of one of California’s most important heritage sites. We trust the time you spend with us, will increase your understand and recognition of this heritage.
The Basilica Church, a registered National Historic Landmark, is the centerpiece of the Mission. Upon entering, visitors are usually struck by its catenary ceiling, thirty foot reredos and 5 foot thick walls. The Missions fine collection of Spanish Colonial Liturgical Art and Artifacts are displayed through the church.
The Harry Downie Museum, located in the forecourt to the Basilica, houses interpretive displays and artifacts devoted to telling the restoration story of the Mission and the significance of Harry Downie’s efforts in the restoration.
Behind the Basilica, in the Munrás courtyard, one will find the Munrás Family Heritage Museum. It displays the treasured keepsakes of one prominent Monterey family. Its goal is to enhance every visitor’s appreciation of their own unique legacy.
Adjacent to the Basilica, the Jo Mora Chapel Gallery houses the elaborate Serra Memorial Cenotaph, sculpted in 1924 by Jo Mora, of travertine marble and bronze. This museum is also the home to an art exhibit which changes periodically.
In Convento Museum, through which one exits the Mission complex, is found the cell used by Saint Junipero Serra and were he died in 1784. Other rooms in the museum present interpretive displays for further understanding the history of this beautiful heritage site.
We hope your visit to this website will encourage a visit to Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo. Then you too will exclaim its spiritual, natural and historical beauty.