Mission Dolores

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Mission Dolores
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Daniel Parks
Mission Dolores

The sixth of 21 California missions built along El Camino Real (the King's Highway), Mission Dolores was founded by Spanish padres in 1776 and is the oldest building in San Francisco—its four-foot-thick adobe walls having withstood both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes. The old church is all that remains of a compound that once housed more than 4,000 padres and converts (mostly Costanoan Indians). Almost everything in the interior is original, from the redwood logs that hold up the roof to the ornate altars brought here from Mexico. The small museum, which offers volunteer-led tours, includes a pretty cemetery and garden, where the city's first mayor and notable early Spanish settlers are buried, along with the unmarked mass grave of 5,000 Native Americans. For film buffs, it's also the spot where an entranced Kim Novak visits the grave of the mysterious Carlotta Valdes in Hitchcock's Vertigo.


Venue name: Mission Dolores
Address: 3321 16th St
San Francisco

Cross street: at Dolores St
Opening hours: Daily May–Oct 9am–4:30pm; Nov–Apr 9am–4pm
Transport: Metro to Right of Way & 20th St./ Bus 33
Price: Suggested donation $5, seniors and students $3.
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