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Mission San Francisco Solano, Sonoma

Categories: Missions, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 100+ reviews on the web
Mission San Francisco Solano was the 21st, last and northernmost mission in Alta California. It was the only mission built in Alta California after Mexico gained independence from Spain. The difficulty of its beginning demonstrates the confusion resulting from that change in governance. The California Governor wanted a robust Mexican presence north of the San Francisco Bay to keep the Russians who had established Fort Ross on the Pacific coast from moving further inland. A young Franciscan friar from Mission San Francisco de Asis wanted to move to a location with a better climate and access to a larger number of potential converts.The Mission was successful given its short eleven year life but was smaller in number of converts and with lower productivity and diversity of industries than the older California missions.The mission building is now part of the Sonoma State Historic Park and is located in the city of Sonoma, California.
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  • The mission is small and it won't take much time to see the entire place, but it's right on the Sonoma Plaza so it's definitely worth taking in if you're visiting Sonoma. Beautiful small chapel with i...  read more »
  • I am now inspired to follow the Camino Real from San Diego all the way to Sonoma on foot. Can I do that? There is a beautiful collection of watercolors of the California Missions circa 1905 that is on...  read more »
  • The Mission San Francisco Solano is located in Sonoma proper right off the main square. It is a fine example of classic Spanish Mission architecture and they charge a small fee to tour the inside. The...  read more »
  • The last and most northern of the missions of California. Beautifully restored and delightful to explore The courtyard even hosts events like kids day where pioneer skills are taught and the kids gain respect for what their ancestors went through so long ago. Century old water colors still grace the walls with images of the other missions as they were, often before restoration. It is easy to step back in time.
  • The last mission and the only one built by the Mexican government. All the other missions were built by the Spanish government. The docent this afternoon was very knowledgeable and really made the history very interesting, she was awesome. Today was Children's Day and had many interesting activities and period crafts for kids and families. The docent let us know to check out the California Buckeye tree that was blooming with large white flowers. We were lucky to see this tree today because it only blooms once a year, and the flowers would be gone in ten days. The California Poppy flowers were blooming in front of the mission and the ranger had a friendly burro for kids to pet. I was greeted by the 2016 Alcalde of Sonoma, Mr. Patrick Garcia who was nice enough to introduce himself to me on his way into the Children's Day event, and what an interesting gentleman he was. I learned from him that he is a direct descendant of a member of the DeAnza expedition that founded San Jose, CA. What an interesting coincidence, since I live in San Jose. On exhibit are artifacts of the mission period and water color paintings of all the missions as they were in the mid 1800's. The mother in law of General Vallejo is buried in the chapel. This mission was in operation for only eleven years and unfortunately has some dark history in that over 900 Native American men, women and children died of disease they had no immunity to. These people were literally buried under your feet in unmarked mass graves. A plaque was placed in 1999 outside the mission in memory of these local people who died here. Like many parts of California, the history is not all pleasant, but it happened and we deserve to know about our past. This place is fascinating and I encourage anyone in Sonoma to go see it and enjoy learning about California history. Very recommended.
  • It is worth paying for the entrance. The exibits inside are informative. You might also run into Californianos, the descendents of Spanish Alta California.
  • It is interesting that this mission was one of them that let the Indians keep on with their tradition but still made them work. I think that San francisco solano is the best mission yet! Love you San Francisco solano!
  • Not the largest mission, but it is the northern most mission. Quaint and well preserved, full of great artifacts!
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