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San Francisco Basilica

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As mentioned on the history page, the large Gothic church built next to the Mission was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. In 1913 construction of a replacement was begun and that was completed in 1918. That church was further remodeled in 1926 and in 1952 the Pope changed its name to the Basilica of Mission San Francisco de Asís (Mission Dolores). This is the building you see today.

Mission and BasilicaExpand
Picture taken 12:44pm 20 Feb 2012

Entering from the side and walking to the middle you see a spectacular nave and apse with a high dome...

Nave and ApseExpand
Picture taken 11:48am 20 Feb 2012

[Side note: If you look closely at the right side of the above picture you see a light and under the light is a man at the organ. Had an organ concert while I was taking these pictures and on talking with the organist I learned that the basilica organ is entirely electronic; no pipes or mechanical parts. It produced a beautiful sound and he told me that organists come from around the world to play it.]

A closer look at the sanctuary area shows three parts: left, right, and the main sanctuary...

Altar Right SideExpand
Picture taken 12:02pm 20 Feb 2012
Main SanctuaryExpand
Picture taken 11:50am 20 Feb 2012
Altar Left SideExpand
Picture taken 11:51am 20 Feb 2012
Coat of ArmsExpand Picture taken 11:51am 20 Feb 2012 Flanking the sanctuary to the left and right of the main altar area are two stands. The one on the left denotes the coat of arms for the diocese of San Francisco and the canopy on the right, being cloth, symbolizes that this church is a basilica (only a basilica can use a cloth canopy; wooden, fixed canopies are used in parish churches, if one is used at all -- you see this distinction mainly in the various missions today). Basilica CanopyExpand
Picture taken 11:51am 20 Feb 2012

Once you've seen the altar area turn around and look up. The basilica has a special collection of stained glass windows. Many of them represent the chain of missions and Blessed Serra. Others, with largely orange backgrounds show angels and saints and one for Saint Francis. [Note: The orange windows are rather unique. If you have toured the mission at Sonoma you might have stopped at the Cline Mission Museum. If so, you would have seen a similar color window recovered from San Francisco.)

Click on any of the pictures for an enlarged display in a lightbox. At the bottom of the lightbox is a button you can click on to start a slide show of all the stained glass windows...

Blessed SerraExpand La PurisimaExpand Padre PalouExpand
Ventura and Santa ClaraExpand Capistrano and SLOExpand San Gabriel and San AntonioExpand Carmel and San DiegoExpand
San Rafael and SomomaExpand San Luis Rey and Santa InezExpand San Miguel and San FernandoExpand San Jose and San Juan BautistaExpand
Santa BarbaraExpand SoledadExpand Santa CruzExpand
AngelsExpand Saint FrancisExpand AngelsExpand
All stained glass window pictures taken about Noon 20 Feb 2012

Continue your tour around the inside of the basilica for the various statues and art.

Side AltarExpand
Picture taken 12:06pm 20 Feb 2012
Mary and JesusExpand
Picture taken 12:06pm 20 Feb 2012
Our Lady of GuadalupeExpand
Picture taken 12:08pm 20 Feb 2012
Shell FontExpand
Picture taken 12:09pm 20 Feb 2012

Now, if you are following the tour, go back and see the museum...End Detour

Navigation for Mission San Francisco de Asís:

Mission Home :: History :: Inside Church :: Basilica :: Museum :: Cemetery :: Outside


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Copyright © 2012 Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved
Pray the rosary for peace!