Mission San Francisco de Asis ( Mission Dolores )

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Mission San Francisco de Asis has been founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1776. Otherwise called Mission Dolores, it has the oldest building in San Francisco finished in 1791. Located at Dolores street, the building, the mission cemetery, and the later built basilica nearby are among most visited San Francisco attractions.

Here is the Virtual W Tour of the Mission. It contains 139 pictures of the place. It is interactive, move around as if you are there..

Approach from Dolores
Virtual Walking Tour

Enter Mission Dolores
Virtual Walking Tour

Approach from Market
Virtual Walking Tour


Approach and enter the mission. Tour around the room. Painting of the ceiling was originally made by indians. Look into Basilica, visit the small museum. Through the small patio with the statue of Father Junipero Serra, enter the cemetery park. Tour around the cemetery, look at the shop, and return back. Approaching from Dolores ( from south ) you can observe the small Statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. How many statues of the Father you could find in this virtual tour? I have found 3.

What is a California mission. It is a settlement to colonize the country and "civilize" local population. Major workforce was indians. Missions where established "for the benefit of the Indians" as part of the system including also Presidio - military bases and settlements and Pueblos - cities. The string of missions stretched along California forming and supporting El Camino Real - King's highway.

Mission economy was very effective. At the peak of political and economical influence missions accumulated large wealth. They managed successfully the best land to the benefit of Indians and the State, produced food and provided shelter.

The growing white population, hungry for the land was ego to eliminate the mission system. They succeeded. In 1845 the "missions were destroyed, neophytes dispersed, and one of the most idealistic adventures" came to the end.

What you can see is a small and most sad piece of the original Mission land squeezed in a city block. Mission de Asis used lands as far as across the Bay.

This tour is available on CDROM with large 500x752 pictures: Click here to find about the CD-ROM tour
The CD also includes Muir Woods Virtual Tour and a huge San Francisco tour

Books: "Land in California", by W.W. Robinson, University of California Press, 1948

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