Church of Saint Raphael / Mission San Rafael Arcangel, San Rafael

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Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in 1817 as a medical asistencia of Mission San Francisco de Asís. It was a hospital to treat sick Native Americans, making it Alta California's first sanitarium. The weather was much better than in San Francisco, which helped the ill get better. It wasn't originally intended to be a stand-alone mission but nevertheless grew and prospered and it was granted full mission status on October 19, 1822.HistoryMission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in the present day location of San Rafael, California, on December 14, 1817, by Father Vicente Francisco de Sarría, as a medical asistencia ("sub-mission") of the San Francisco Mission to treat their sick population. It was granted full mission status in 1822.This was one of the second missions turned over to the Mexican government in 1833 after the Mexican secularization act of 1833. In 1840, there were 150 Indians still at the Mission. By 1844, Mission San Rafael Arcángel had been abandoned; what was left of the empty buildings was sold for $8,000 in 1846. The Mission was used by John C. Fremont as his headquarters during the battles to make California a United States possession. In 1847, a priest was once again living at the Mission. A new parish church was built near the old chapel ruins in 1861, and, in 1870, the rest of the ruins were removed to make room for the City of San Rafael. All that was left of the Mission was a single pear tree from the old Mission's orchard. It is for this reason that San Rafael is known as the "most obliterated of California's missions."
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Church of Saint Raphael / Mission San Rafael Arcangel Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
67 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • St. Raphael's dominates the landscape. A large church at the top of the A Street hill, it is remarkable for its beautiful stained glass windows. It also has a professionally restored series of origina...  more »
  • The old mission and the newer church are really lovely. Visit both, and enjoy walking through the grounds. This is a pleasant, peaceful spot.  more »
  • Having been to many of California's Missions, this was just a bit of a disappointment. Parking was not readily available on a weekend and we had to park 4 blocks away. Not a deal breaker but again, no...  more »
Google
  • A word of caution: this is the site of the San Rafael Mission. Nothing remains from the mission period except for a couple of artifacts in the gift shop. There's not much to see, so don't go out of your way to visit. It's really just a parish church and school these days.
  • I did it for my mission project and OMG! that was soooo gorgeus !
  • I visited the gift store, this time. George, the volunteer, was a pleasure to talk with. We need more people like George in this world of ours.
  • i also love it since my 4th grade teacher told me to do it yay -_- c:
  • Would have loved to visit the church but the gift shop employee told us that the church is only open to the public during service...

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