San Antonio de Padua

San Antonio de Padua Mission

San Antonio de Padua, California’s third mission, was founded on July 14, 1771. This mission was extensively restored (between 1948-1952). The extensively restored complex and grounds offer a lot for visitors to see.   Mission San Antonio de Padua’s setting is much as a traveler would have experienced it two centuries ago.   

Facts About This Mission

General Information

San Antonio de Padua

Founded:
July 14, 1771
Current Status:
Consecrated Roman Catholic Church where religious services are held and a retreat center open to all denominations.
Summary:
San Antonio de Padua, California’s third mission, was founded on July 14, 1771. This mission was extensively restored (between 1948-1952). The extensively restored complex and grounds offer a lot for visitors to see.   Mission San Antonio de Padua’s setting is much as a traveler would have experienced it two centuries ago.   

Visitor Information

Address

17 Mission Rd
Jolon, CA 93928
United States

Get Directions
Phone

831-385-4478

 

Hours

Closed Mondays.

Fees
  • Adults: $5.00
  • Children age 12 or under: $3.00
Settings

Approaching the mission  This mission is located in the Santa Lucia Mountains in an oak-studded valley whose unspoiled setting is much as a traveler would have experienced it two centuries ago. 

Tours

The mission provides a useful map and suggestions for a self-guided tour. Docent-led group tours are available and must be scheduled well in advance.

Overview

San Antonio de Padua Layout Mission San Antonio is a large complex. 

Church Services
  • San Antonio de Padua front Sunday: 9:00 a.m.
  • Holy Days: 7:00 p.m.
  • All services are held in the historic church.
Weddings and Other Special Services

The mission is available for weddings, with advance planning. For information call the mission at 831-385-4478.

The Padres' Garden, located in the courtyard of the Mission, is available to rent for barbecues, family reunions and other non-profit activities.

Special Events

San Antonio de Padua holds special events each quarter of the year (the details are posted each year on mission website (www.misssionsanantonio.net). Historically they have included:

  • “Cutting of the Roses"
  • “Mission Days” (re-enactors dressed in period costume demonstrate mission life)
  • An Annual “Fiesta"
  • “Events in the Garden” which now features a gourmet meal and art show.
Unique Attractions

With an unspoiled and panoramic setting and an almost fully-restored quadrangle, San Antonio de Padua is one of the most complete and inviting of the California missions. 

Church front statue The mission church was completed in 1813. The front arcade, made from burned brick, was added in 1821. San Antonio was fully restored by the Landmarks Club between 1903 and 1908.

Church Interior The interior of the church is inviting.

First marriage at Mission San Antonio de Padua The first Christian wedding to take place in California occurred at Mission San Antonio in 1773. A mural on the wall of the mission celebrates this event. 

Music Display HandA large museum with many rooms contains original artifacts from both the mission era and the early 19th century, as well as and displays of various aspects of mission life. A favorite display is a diagram of Hand Signals used to teach Music Scales to neophytes.

Ship Figure Heads Some of the most interesting displays are outside, particularly the display of figureheads from colonial frigates whose sailors brought these to the mission as gift offerings. 

The grounds of the Mission are extensive, and the location of various mission-era structures well marked. You can see the original millrace which brought water to the mission for crop irrigation, pits for the tanning of cattle hides, the original Salinan Indian cemetery and foundations of various structures still under excavation.

Tips for Visitors

Give yourself plenty of time to explore San Antonio de Padua. Wear comfortable shoes so you can walk the ground. 

Wander thru this large complex slowly. It is easy to miss certain attractions. Be aware that the remoteness that gives this mission such a special appeal means that there aren’t many facilities nearby. Bring lunch with you. 

Additional Information
  • Boulé, M.N. (1988). The Missions: California's Heritage: Mission San Antonio De Padua
  • Engelhardt, Z. (1929). Mission San Antonio de Padua, the Mission of the Sierras (The definitive early history of the mission)

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