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Sonoma Mission Exterior

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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.

Roof ConstructionExpand
Picture taken 12:06pm 19 Feb 2012
Roof Construction CloserExpand
Picture taken 12:07pm 19 Feb 2012
Roof TiesExpand
Picture taken 12:07pm 19 Feb 2012

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.

Mission FrontExpand
Picture taken 1:10pm 19 Feb 2012
Mission BellExpand
Picture taken 12:09pm 19 Feb 2012

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...

Mission OverviewExpand
Picture taken 1:09pm 19 Feb 2012

...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...

End of TrailExpand
Picture taken 2:05pm 29 Aug 2003

...which reads:

The End of The Mission Trail

The Mission Trail marked three hundred years of Spanish-Mexican settlement. It travelled as far South as Guatemala and traversed Mexico to advance through eleven of our present day United States. In 1823 Mission San Francisco Solano was founded, marking the last and northernmost outpost on the historic Mission Trail

The California Landmark sign for the Mission is on the front of the Mission under the walkway...

Landmark PlaqueExpand
Picture taken 12:04pm 19 Feb 2012

...and reads...

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.

Navigation for Mission San Francisco Solano:

Mission Home :: History :: Museum :: Chapel :: Courtyard :: Exterior :: Jorgensen Watercolors :: Sonoma Plaza :: Sonoma Barracks :: Lachryma Montis

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Copyright © 2002-2012 Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved
Pray the rosary for peace!