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