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February 25, 2011 / Linda Hartong

The More Private Face of The Mission San Carlos

The padres building the Missions in California were not architects. The churches of their boyhood served as their blueprints. Most of the Missions in Europe are built as quadrangles with the Basilica forming the 4th wall. The buildings housing the school, chapel, rectory and kitchen form the other walls.










Exterior corredors connect the many buildings. The are cool and shaded and frame some lovely views.

The busy school forms the south and west walls with the rectory on the east wall. It appears that even priests need private time.

I often see painters with their easels set up here and groups convening after a morning of  touring.











Make time to take in all the little details.  Every window seems a little different from the others.










Statuary pops out of the foliage in unexpected places.

When you are ready to leave, you exit through the Convento Museum. There is a depiction of a cell used by Junipera Serra where he died in 1784. Other rooms present interpretive displays.



The room that houses California’s First Library (founded by Serra in 1770) was originally one of the Padre’s cells or bedrooms but houses the library artifacts as the site of the original library has not been restored – this site is in front of the left front bell tower of the church as presently under archeological excavation.


Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

I hope you have enjoyed the tour. I think you will find as I continue to blog that Carmel’s diverse architecture  is one of my favorite subjects.

Whether it be a Mission, a poem , or a painting; I agree with William James

“The Greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”



Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are copyright (c) Linda Hartong. All rights reserved.

You may not use any image on this site without my written consent. If you are interested in using a photo from my website for any purpose, please send me a quick message and let me know which photo(s) you are interested in.



One Comment

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  1. jeanette sclar / Feb 28 2011 2:39 pm

    Your photos truly capture the artistic impact of all the details…makes me want to pull out my watercolors and start painting!

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