Browse Primary Sources
Locate primary sources, including images, objects, media, and texts. Annotations by scholars contextualize sources.

Old Mission San Luis Rey de Francia

Founded in 1798, this church belonged to the extensive network of Spanish colonial missions not only in California, but along much of the US-Mexico border. Through the eighteenth century, this region operated as the frontier zone between territories claimed by Spain, France, Britain, and indigneous groups.

... Read More »

Old Mission San Juan Bautista

This historic church once belonged to Spain’s extensive network of religious institutions along the US-Mexico border. The Mission San Juan Bautista was founded in 1797, making it the fifteenth church established in modern-day California. The name of the church originates in its founding day, which was dedicated to the feast day for Saint John the Baptist.

... Read More »

Misión San Juan Capistrano (California)

Throughout the eighteenth century, Spanish friars established more than twenty Spanish colonial churches across the territory that comprises the modern-day state of California. This one, named the Mission San Juan Capistrano, was founded in 1776. These institutions aimed to convert the local peoples (the Acjachemen) to Christianity and teach them Spanish ways of living and working.

... Read More »

Misión Basilica San Diego de Alcalá

Throughout the eighteenth century, the Spanish Crown authorized the establishment of more than twenty churches across the area that comprises the state of California today. These institutions, along with the dozens of other churches already founded throughout the US-Southwest region, aimed to evangelize the native peoples. This complex targeted the nearby Kumeyaay peoples.

... Read More »

Misión La Purísima Concepción De María Santísima

The Purísima Concepción Mission was founded in 1787 as part of a larger network of Spanish colonial churches throughout the region. By this time, ten other missions had been established in modern-day California, in addition to the dozens of others across the territory that today comprises the US-Mexico border.

... Read More »

Misión Nuestro Señora de la Soledad

Established in 1791, the Mission of Nuestro Señora de la Soledad was a Spanish colonial church in the frontier region of Spain’s empire in North America. By the time of its founding, twelve other similar institutions already existed throughout modern-day California, in addition to the dozens of churches across the US Southwest.

... Read More »

Misión San Antonio de Padua

The Mission of San Antonio de Padua was the third church established by Spanish friars in the territory that today comprises the state of California. Founded in 1771, this complex aimed to house the church authorities and evangelize the local native communities. Indigenous labor built the sanctuary and its supporting buildings, such as workshops and a granary.

... Read More »

Misión San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo

Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Spanish Crown granted its missionaries permission to establish dozens of missions throughout the modern-day US Southwest. During this period, this region was the borderlands between Spain’s territory and those claimed by the British, French, and indigenous groups.

... Read More »

Misión San Francisco de Solano

Located in Southern California, the Mission San Francisco de Solano once operated as a Spanish colonial church. It was founded in 1823 and originally featured living quarters in addition to the sanctuary. Missions like this one were established to evangelize the native communities in the area. The Spanish monarchs approved the creation of dozens of missions throughout the borderlands region.

... Read More »

Misión San Fernando Rey de España

Throughout the seventeenth century and eighteenth centuries, the Spanish Crown approved the establishment of dozens of churches throughout the region that today comprises the US-Mexico border. During the period, this territory was the frontier zone for Spain, at the northern edge of its American colonies.

... Read More »

Pages