Mission Santa Clara

Santa Clara de Asís Mission

Santa Clara de Asís was founded on January 12, 1777 and was the first mission in California to honor a female saint, Saint Claire of Assisi, a 13th century Italian nun. Also known as Mission Santa Clara, this mission is the site of the first and oldest university in California, Santa Clara University, which was founded in 1851.

Facts About This Mission

General Information

Santa Clara de Asís

Founded:
January 12, 1777
Current Status:
An active Catholic Church of the Roman Catholic Dioces of San Jose that is the spiritual center of a modern Jesuit university.
Summary:
Santa Clara de Asís was founded on January 12, 1777 and was the first mission in California to honor a female saint, Saint Claire of Assisi, a 13th century Italian nun. Also known as Mission Santa Clara, this mission is the site of the first and oldest university in California, Santa Clara University, which was founded in 1851.

Visitor Information

Address

500 E. Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

Get Directions
Phone

Mission: 408-554-4023

Book Store: 408-554-4356

Hours
Fees

None

Tours

Self-guided. The mission’s fifth church, built in 1825, was completely destroyed in a fire in 1926. The current church was completed in 1929 and serves the university community.

Church Services

Sunday 10:00 a.m. Monday to Friday 12:05 p.m.

Weddings and Other Special Services

Saturdays
10:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m.
3:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

Sundays
1:00 p.m.

Weddings have to be scheduled by calling the Mission office at 408-554-4023.

A year-and-a-half notice is strongly recommended. This is a popular place for weddings by those who have attended Santa Clara University, and they are given preference.

Unique Attractions

Santa Clara is the oldest university in California, and it developed from the mission founded in 1777.

Mission Santa Clara The church is an attractive “modern interpretation” of the 1825 church.

Entrance to rose garden There is an attractive, well maintained rose garden to the right of the church. This was the site of a cemetery from 1820-1846.

Adobe Wall Sign There is a small section of one of the original adobe walls of the mission near the church. An informative sign provides details.

Santa ClaraA tall cross, erected in 1777, and now in protective casing, stands across from the church entrance.

Tips for Visitors

Enjoy Santa Clara for its unique history, well landscaped grounds, and the vibrant spirit of a large Catholic university where a mission church is a center of campus life.

This mission can be interesting to visit during Christmas week, other religious holidays and special remembrances such as All Souls Day.

The campus bookstore has a small collection of material on the mission. This is no mission gift shop.

While one can visit the mission and its well-landscaped grounds in an hour, exploring this large university can take much longer. The de Saisset Museum located near the church is well worth a visit.

Other Historic Attractions

It is possible to visit Missions Santa Clara, San Jose and Santa Cruz in one full day if you get an early start.

Additional Information

Discover More Information About California's Rich History

Browse the Mission Resource Store, where we have everything from maps to trading cards to help immerse you in the California Missions and more.

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