- September 8, 1771
- Mission San Gabriel
- Active Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
- San Gabriel Arcángel was founded on September 8, 1771. The unique San Gabriel church features a Moorish “fortress-like” appearance. Mission San Gabriel has a full set of the Stations of the Cross painted by mission neophytes, and a large number of artifacts and historic items on display on the grounds.
428 S Mission Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776
- 626-457-3048 (Mission/gift shop)
- 626-467-3035 (Rectory)
- Adults (18-61): $5.00
- Older adults (62+): $4.00
- Children/young adults (6-17): $3.00
- Children ages 5 and younger: free
The mission provides a self-guided tour brochure (in English or Spanish) with a map and historical information
- 8:00 a.m. (English)
- 5:30 p.m. (English) held in the Chapel
- 7:30 a.m. (English) held at the Old Mission
- 8:00 a.m. (English) held in the Chapel
- 9:30 a.m. (English) held at the Old Mission
- 9:30 a.m. (Español) held in the Chapel/Capilla
- 11:15 a.m. (English) held in the Chapel
- 1:00 p.m. (Español) held in the Chapel / Capilla
- 3:00 p.m. (Vietnamese) held in the Chapel
- 5:00 p.m. (English) held in the Chapel
- 7:00 p.m. (English) held in the Chapel
Monday - Friday:
- 6:30 a.m. (English)
- 12:00 p.m. (English)
- 6:30 p.m. (Español) held in the Chapel/ Capilla
Weddings and Other Special Services
Both Parishioners and non-Parishioners are welcome. Requirements, arrangements, and details on the “Wedding Donation” are on the parish website at: https://parish.sangabrielmissionchurch.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=170487&type=d&pREC_ID=351337
Special events vary but have included a History Fair, Re-enactments of events, a Mission Model Building Exhibit and Contest, Displays of Native Plants etc.
Mission History Day is usually on the first Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the mission's gardens or museum patio.
In the fall of every year, San Gabriel stages an Annual Fiesta over several days. The Fiesta feature religious, historical and cultural festivities, game and food booths, rides and free entertainment in the evenings. Tongva Indians and historical re-enactors hold special events. Details are available on the mission website.
The unique “fortress-like” church, completed in 1805, is similar in design to the cathedral and former mosque of Córdoba, Spain
Mission San Gabriel has a particularly picturesque espadaña or bell wall. The oldest bells were cast in 1795.
In the mission era, the principal entrance to the church was through a side door, which opened directly on to El Camino Real (Royal Road). The exterior staircase led to the choir loft.
San Gabriel became a parish church after its secularization in 1834 and remains an active Catholic Church.
The Stations of the Cross are thought to be neophyte Indian paintings which date to the 1820s. (The originals are in the mission museum, copies hang in the church). Note: The original paintings are in the mission museum.
The grounds of the mission are filled with displays, equipment, and objects from San Gabriel’s long history. There is a special room containing a restored mission-era kitchen.
One of the favorites of visitors is the “wine room” which has displays of historic wine making equipment (San Gabriel had the largest vineyard in Spanish California).
A portion of the cemetery is set aside as burial grounds for Claretian Missionaries (this order has been responsible for San Gabriel since 1908).
Tips for Visitors
There is a small park on the side of the church. This offers the best view of the bell tower, capped buttresses and tall, narrow windows of this distinctive church. The best time to photograph the church is in the late afternoon when the sun begins to set.
Be sure to spend enough time in the church interior. In addition to the captivating Stations of the Cross, the altar and reredos are original and date from the 1790s; the six polychrome bultos (statues) are Spanish.
Other Historic Sites
The missionaries from San Gabriel served the Catholic church in the pueblo of Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angels del Rio de Porciuncula, founded in 1781. The Church of Our Lady of Angels has been restored
A visit to Old Town is highly recommended.