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Spanish Missions in Baja California

By Levi Clancy for לוי on

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Jesuit Missions in Baja California (1683-1768)

Misión San BrunoFounded 1683
Abandoned 1695
Misión de Nuestra Señora de Loreto ConchóFounded 1697Also known as Mission Loreto.
Visita de San Juan Bautista LondóFounded 1699
Misión San Francisco Javier de Viggé-BiaundóFounded 1699Originally founded five miles north, but moved to its current site in 1710.
Misión San Juan Bautista MalibatFounded 1705
Abandoned 1721
Aka Misión Liguí, scarcely even any ruins remain.
Misión Santa Rosalía de MulegéFounded 1705
A church built in 1766 remains.
Misión San Jose de ComondúFounded 1708
Misión San Jose de Comondú was relocated to Visita San Ignacio in 1736, which took on the name of the mission; the original site was henceforth now known as Comondu Viejo, and was a visita of the new mission.
Misión La Purísima Concepción de CadegomóFounded 1720
Abandoned 1822
The original site was moved in 1735, and is in the present city of La Purisima (location?).
Misión de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de La Paz (Airapí)Founded 1720
Abandoned 1748
In 1748 the mission relocated to its sub-mission Visita Todos Santos, which took on the name Mision La Paz. Only a plaque remains to mark this original site.
Misión Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de HuasinapiFounded 1720
Abandoned 1795
All that remains are some stone foundations and walls of a church built ~1750.
Misión Santiago de Los CorasFounded 1721
Abandoned 1741
Originally somewhere closer to the coast, this quickly moved to the site where it remained some twenty years. However, it then was moved to the visita of La Pasion (below). It is sometimes called Dolores del Sur in anticipation of a Dolores del Norte (which was built as Misión Santa Gertrudis). This and San Pedro Martir are the only two missions not accessible by automobile.
Misión Nuestra Señora de los Dolores del Sur ChilláEst 1721 (Visita)
Est 1741 (Misión)
Abandoned 1768
Originally Visita La Pasion, this was the final location of the Los Dolores mission (though some sources mistakenly list it as Mision La Pasion).
Misión San Ignacio KadakaamánFounded 1728
Abandoned 1840
The glorious stone church was completed in 1786.
Misión Estero de las Palmas de San José del Cabo AñuitíFounded 1730
Misión Santiago el Apostol AiñiniFounded 1724
Founded 1734
Founded 1790
Abandoned 1795
The original site was established after the failure at Santa Ana in 1722; it is now on a private ranch and is off-limits to visitors. The second site was founded in 1734 where the town church of Santiago is today. Some sources mention a third move in 1790.
Misión San Jose del Cabo AñuitiFounded 1730No ruins remain at any of the mission's known locations. It was established near the coast (1730), then moved five miles inland to today's San Jose Viejo, then back to the coast (1735) as a visita for Mision Santiago and a Spanish presidio, followed by a final move 1 mile inland (1753).
Visita Todos Santos
Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas
Est 1724 (Visita)
Est 1733 (Mision)
Abandoned 1748
This was originally Visita Todos Santos, serving Mision La Paz. It was then established as its own mission Santa Rosa de las Palmas in 1733. However, when Mision La Paz relocated to the area in 1748, the mission was abandoned and its population transferred to the new Misión de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de La Paz (now in Todos Santos, not Airapí).
Misión Nuestra Señora del Pilar de la Paz (Todos Santos)Founded 1748
Moved 1825
Abandoned 1840
In 1748 Misión Nuestra Señora del Pilar de la Paz moved from Airapí to Todos Santos, replacing the nearby Misión Santa Rosa de las Palmas. This site is now occupied by a lovely church built in 1970. In 1825 the mission moved again, one mile south. This final site is occupied by the town church.
Misión San Luis Gonzaga ChiriyaquiFounded 1740
Abandoned 1768
A stone church remains, built in 1750.
Misión Santa Gertrudis de CadacamanFounded 1751
Abandoned 1822
This was originally planned as Misión Dolores del Norte, and appears as such on the Jesuit mision list of 1745 and the 1757 map based on old information. However, when Marques de Villapuente donated the funds to establish the mission, he requested it named after Saint Gertrude. However, some recent sources incorrectly place Dolores del Norte between San Ignacio and Santa Gertrudis, or attribute the name to vista ruins in San Pablo Canyon, near the mission. Further, in 1964, locals told their first visitors that their old village walls were remains of Dolores del Nrote, as though perhaps it was an early visita named Dolores.
Misión San Francisco BorjaFounded 1762Originally a visita for Mision Santa Gertrudis. There are adobe walls, believed to be Franciscan. There is a stone church built by Dominicans.
Visita de CalamajuéFounded 1766Originally intended to be the location for Misión Santa María de los Ángeles, it proved to be an unsuitable site due to mineral waters that prevented agriculture. It became a small station for those en route. All that marks the site are some adobe ruins.
Misión Santa María de los ÁngelesFounded 1767When crops were unable to grow at the mission at Visita de Calamajué, the Jesuits decided this new site was suitable. However, the Jesuits had only build palm log shacks when they were removed from Las Californias in early 1768. Franciscans built the adobe ruins that remain at the site, but it was soon neglected when the first Franciscan mission in Las Californias, Misión San Fernando, was founded nearby by Padre Serra. Santa Maria was demoted to a visita.

Franciscan Missions in Baja California (1768-1733)

Misión San Fernando Rey de España de VelicatáFounded 1769
Abandoned 1818
The site was chosen by the Jesuits before their removal. It was established by the Franciscans, their only mission in Baja California; the nearby Misión Santa María was reduced to a visita.
Visita de la PresentaciónFounded 1769

Dominican Missions in Baja California (1774-1834)

Misión Nuestra Señora del Santísimo Rosario de ViñacadoFounded 1774
Moved 1802
Abandoned 1832
The water became unusable in 1802, so it was moved nearby.

Visita de San José de MagdalenaFounded 1774
Misión Santo Domingo de la FronteraFounded 1775
Misión San Vicente FerrerFounded 1780
Misión San Miguel Arcángel de la FronteraFounded 1797
Misión Santo Tomás de AquinoFounded 1791
Misión San Pedro Mártir de VeronaFounded 1794
Misión Santa Catarina Virgen y MártirFounded 1797
Visita de San TelmoFounded 1798
Misión El DescansoFounded 1817Misión San Miguel la Nueva
Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del NorteFounded 1834

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