Mission Carmel Entrance and Garden

When you exit the gift shop you enter the garden at the front of the Mission. Take a walk around and look at the fountain, statue of Saint Serra and the many native plants.

Picture taken 11:09am 25 Feb 2012
Serra in Garden
Picture taken 11:11am 25 Feb 2012

As you move toward the Basilica, on your left you will come across a niche with a statue of Blessed Mary and the Child Jesus.

Mary Alcove
Picture taken 11:12am 25 Feb 2012
Mary and Jesus
Picture taken 11:12am 25 Feb 2012

Directly ahead of you is the entrance to the Basilica (Mission Church). Stop for awhile and admire the Moorish influence in the design of this Mission. Few others have this type of influence to the extent this Mission does. You will, for example, sometimes see the window you see here in other designs but the bell towers and overall look and feel of the Mission is fairly unique.

Basilica Front
Picture taken 9:43am 25 Feb 2012
Moorish Window
Picture taken 9:45am 25 Feb 2012

There are many bells in the towers. These are the three you can see from the front of the Mission. They are shown top to bottom representing left to right as you see them from the garden area approaching the front of the Basilica. Note that not all the bells are fixed to ring. In the pictures below you can see the electronic strikers that ring those bells; the bell on the right (bottom picture) has no such striker. Some bells were removed from the tower in 2009 and sent to be refurbished. They were found to be cracked and had to be recast to protect them. The new castings were mounted back in the tower in 2010 and the originals are on display in the courtyard and museum….

Far Left Tower BellPicture taken 9:44am 25 Feb 2012

Right Tower BellPicture taken 9:44am 25 Feb 2012

Right Bell
Picture taken 9:44am 25 Feb 2012

And, if you get a chance to attend an evening service at the Basilica, you might get to see the bells at night.

Bells at Night
Picture taken 6:39pm 25 Feb 2012

Now head into the Basilica. But, look up just in case the swallows are at home. You don’t want to wake under them. 🙂

Swallow Nests
Picture taken 9:46am 25 Feb 2012

Now, enter the Basilica (Church) itself.