Explore California's 21 Missions


Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma

Founded in July 4,1823. Named for Saint Francis Solanus of Montilla, Spain (the violinist and the patron saint of Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina). This mission is the 21st in the 21 Alta California chain of missions and the most northerly in the chain. Located in the town of Sonoma about 50 miles north of San Francisco. Founded by Father Jose Altimira and twenty soldiers. This Mission served as a Spanish outpost against the Russians. It was here that the Colonists staged the Bear Flag Rebellion. The building was replaced with a larger building in 1827, torn down in 1838. Rebuilt in 1840, restored in 1911-1913.

All Alta California missions incorporated a protective roofing system that extended well away from the buildings.

Photo showing the under side of the roof
Beautifully painted decorations adorn this church
This cactus enclosure was used by the indian women as protection from all manner of threats.
Early mission photo circa 1880



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