Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad: California’s 13th Mission

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. Fermín Francisco de Lasuén founded this mission in 1791, and even though it has been 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.

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  • Cost: Free
  • Time Needed: 30 minutes
  • Location: 36641 Fort Romie Rd, Soledad, CA 93960
  • Read about all 21 of the California Missions here
  • This information is from my visit in 2016

Getting There

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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

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Mission Soledad has 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.

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The exterior is beautiful though with lots of roses and an old bell hanging from a wood beam near the chapel.

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Across the parking lot, there is a statue of Father Serra surrounded by manicured plants, which makes for a good picture.

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Along the backside of the mission are the old courtyard and present cemetery.

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There are burial plots for some of the critical people in the mission’s history as well.

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There is also a large fountain in the middle of the courtyard that has koi swimming in it and water cascading over the rocks.

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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.

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After walking around the exterior, I headed into the museum.

The Museum

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The museum has multiple rooms, each representing a different period of the mission’s history.

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The first room represents to the Indians of the area.

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The second showcases different mission artifacts.

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The last includes many replicas of the buildings that make up the 21 Spanish California missions. They are all laid out in a big case, and it was cool to see the ones I had already visited.

The Chapel

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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 fourth of the size of the other mission chapels.

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You also enter this chapel from the altar section, which allows you to walk right up to the altar as you walk into the chapel.

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The alter was pretty distinct as it had a doll version of the Blessed Mother (at least that is what it looked like).

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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 work to be back at 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.

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