San Rafael Mission, San Raphael California

The new parish church dwarfs the original mission chapel.

When you go looking for Mission San Rafael you going to see this big beautiful church and you are going to say to yourself “Oh, the mission is so beautiful!”

AND you will be wrong because what you are seeing is not the mission because Mission San Rafael is actually this building…

This reconstructed chapel is what the original chapel would of looked like. Notice there was no bell tower.

So at this point you might be thinking. “Oh yes, that building is much simpler, that must of been the original.”

Since the original chapel was destroyed the new reconstructed chapel has a very modern feel to it.

And again you would be wrong because this chapel was built in 1949. Unfortunately, the original chapel is not at all like the original. This was mostly because when they built the new chapel they didn’t have any pictures of the oldĀ chapel. All they had were people who said they remembered what the old chapel looked like, but what they were remembering was actually a postcard from 1901 that was not even a drawing of any of the California Missions. If you think that is strange consider this…The original chapel was erected in 1831 and was completely gone by 1863, which if you do your math you will find that the new chapel has actually been standing longer than the original old chapel.

AJ really liked the kids at the mission school.


The three original bells are in the tiny museum/gift shop.

Mission San Rafael has all sorts of quirky things to discover. We enjoyed our time visiting. Oh and lest you think I spelled San Rafael wrong consider this, you don’t pronounce the H in Spanish and a P is pronounced “PA” (the Church is named Saint San Raphael).



San Rafael Mission, San Raphael California — 1 Comment

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