Our next stop on this whirlwind adventure field trip was The Basilica of Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo, aka Mission Carmel. Carmel is right next to Monterey, so it was not a long drive from the park I shared about yesterday.
Mission Carmel is very beautiful, and it was more crowded than the other missions we've been to. There was a tour bus in the parking lot, so it seems to be a popular destination.
You pay your fee in the gift shop and then walk through to the gardens.
One of the cool things about this trip is that most of the missions only charge for kids 7 and up, so Katie, whose birthday was a couple days after we returned from our trip squeaked by free.
It was really interesting to mentally compare the missions. They share a lot of the same components, such as fountains.
Which my well behaved children splashed each other in. And asked why there was money on the bottom. Again.
The gardens were lovely, with a wide variety of plants, and lots of statues.
This particular mission has undergone extensive renovations, which were beautifully done.
As with the other missions we've visited, there were many displays of artifacts from the mission time period, including old coins and buttons.
My boys are always happy to see swords.
The church building, which has a star shaped window similar to the one at Mission San Rafael Arcangel.
Inside the church
Former Pope John Paul the Second visited this mission thirty years ago.
While I'm not Catholic, I did appreciate the quote above about service to others.
If you click on the picture, you'll see the monstrously large aloe plant in the center. There were several of them on the grounds here.
These displays were from the Munras family. We watched a video about the "California princess."
It's too bad time travel isn't a thing. It would be really interesting to meet these people and see whether they were like we imagine or not.
Back out in the gardens, with another fountain. This area was tranquil.
And the bell tower.
The bell tower is kind of pretty.
We should take a selfie.
This mission still has the quadrangle shape, and this larger fountain is in the paved center. I was surprised by the paving, since most of the missions have dirt in the middle. Since this is an active church and school, I imagine they hold wedding receptions and school events out here.
In one corner, they have lists of benefactors and sponsored pavers indicating donors toward reconstruction projects. I made some other tourists laugh when I told the kids, "Go sit in front of the bell for a picture. Okay now everybody say, 'ding a ling!' "
So if you're at all familiar with mission history, you know that Father Junipero Serra was a Big Deal in the founding of the California mission chain (and some in Baja, too). Mission Carmel happens to be the final resting place of Father Serra.
While this looks like a tomb, Father Serra is actually interred beneath the floor, in front of the altar. This monument was created 140 years after his death.
The artist who created the monument also made this smaller statue of the Munras princess.
You get an idea how large the music book is when you compare it to the size of the standard violin on the right. Which Katie called a guitar. And when I corrected her, Hannah asked what the difference is between a violin and a guitar. Sigh. I have failed somewhere along the way. I grew up with music. I can't remember ever not knowing basic instruments. My dad and his best friend when I was a kid both played guitar, and my dad's best friend's wife played the violin. Seems like nowadays the only thing people play are video games and iGadgets. Now that I sound old and crotchety... moving along.
Okay, so over here we have a mission kitchen.
Complete with hanging garlic and plastic vegetables.
This shows what a typical "cell" or bedroom for a priest would have looked like.
This particular cell is where Father Junipero Serra died in 1784.
While most of the graves here are much older, this is also the final resting place of Harry Downie, who did much of the restoration work at Mission Carmel.
The graveyard here is much more simplistic than the one at Mission San Jose. Mostly simple crosses surrounded by abalone shells. I pointed out the abalone shells to the kids, not even realizing that we'd be seeing live abalone at the aquarium the next day.
And this little room is believed to be the very first library in California! Given how much I love reading and books and libraries, that was pretty cool to see.
I brought along blank journals and colored pencils for the kids to draw things from our trip, and these flowers ended up in a couple of them. I'm kind of wishing that I'd brought one for myself and allowed us time to sit and sketch, but the kids do better when we keep moving.
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