Sonoma Mission Exterior
Navigation for San Francisco Solano:
When you are finished with your tour of the main portions of the Mission, go back outside and take a look around. In particular, turn left out the door and go down to that pathway mentioned on the previous page. There you can clearly see some of the roof construction as it might have looked during mission times after they started to use tiles over the wood/reeds. Note, in particular, that everything is held together with leather thongs instead of nails.
Now, take a walk back down the sidewalk to examine the Mission bell. It's dated 1829, six years after the founding of the Mission, and is the only survivor of the original bells at the Mission. It was cast in Mexico and even though Mexico had taken over the territories from Spain the bell still has the crown top. Apparently Mexican bell-foundries kept using the old molds after independence from Spain. If you are at the Mission in October try to attend the blessing of the grapes which is performed in front of the bell.
When you are finished with your tour of the main portions of the Mission, take a broader look around. Step back into the park diagonally across from the Mission and look back to see the whole structure in context...
...and then visit some of the other historic areas around the Mission:
Those that are linked above have pages on the MissionTour site. Those not linked may be in the future after another visit.
The official California Landmark sign for the end of the Mission Trail is actually located at Mission San Francisco de Asís but this Mission is the true end of the trail. This is indicated by a plaque located on the corner in front of the Mission...
The California Landmark sign for the Mission is on the front of the Mission under the walkway...
Mission San Francisco Solano
On July 4, 1823, Padre Jose Altimira founded this northernmost of California's Franciscan Missions. In 1834 secularization orders were carried out by military commandant Mariano G. Vallejo. San Francisco Solano became a parish church serving the pueblo and Sonoma Valley until sold in 1881. This plaque replaces one originally dedicated by the Historic Landmark Committee, Native Sons of the Golden West, 1926.
California Registered Historical Landmark No. 3
Plaque placed by the California State Park Commission in cooperation with the Sonoma Parlor No. III, Native Sons of the Golden West. July 14, 1963.
That's the end of the tour. Thank you. Please visit the other missions.