Located in the town of Soledad, about 45 minutes South of Monterey, Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad was the 13th of the 21 Spanish missions in California. This mission was founded by Fermín Francisco de Lasuén in 1791 and even though it has been largely rebuilt, the mission is still a great spot to explore on a road trip. I visited this mission on my fourth day on the El Camino Real road trip which you can read about here or read on for information on the Mission Soledad.
- Cost: Free
- Time Needed: 30 minutes
- Location: 36641 Fort Romie Rd, Soledad, CA 93960
Mission Soledad is located about 3 miles off the freeway in the town of Soledad. Some signs direct you to it from the highway, and it is right in the middle of a bunch of farms. There is a large dirt parking lot.
The Mission Exterior
Mission Soledad is only one main building as the rest have been destroyed over the years. There are plans to restore them but of course it comes down to getting the funds to do it.
The exterior is beautiful though with lots of roses and an old bell hanging from a wood beam near the chapel.
Across the parking lot there is a statue of Father Serra surrounded by manicured plants which makes for a good picture.
Along the backside of the mission is the old courtyard and present cemetery.
There are burial plots for some of the important people in the mission’s history.
There is also a large fountain in the middle of the courtyard that has koi swimming in it and water cascading over the rocks.
Along the opposite side of the courtyard sits the remains of the wall that formed the quadrilateral, as well as signs that show you where each piece would have been.
After walking around the exterior, I headed into the museum.
The museum has multiple rooms, each representing a different time period of the mission’s history.
The first room represents to the Indians of the area.
The second showcases different mission artifacts.
The last includes many different replicas of the buildings that make up the 21 Spanish missions. They are all laid out in a big case and it was cool to see the ones I had already visited.
After leaving the museum, I headed into the chapel. This is one of the smallest mission chapels, up there with Santa Cruz, it is about a forth of the size of the other mission chapels.
You also enter this chapel from the alter section, which allows you to walk right up to the alter as you walk into the chapel.
The alter was pretty interesting as it had a doll version of the Blessed Mother ( at least that is what it looked like).
After about 30 minutes of walking around I had seen all that the mission had to offer and headed out. This is a beautiful mission but not one of the best as it still needs a lot of building to be back to its original state; however it is free, so it’s hard to complain about it. Read more about the missions drive here and let me know what you think about this mission in the comment.