|The Spanish Missions of California|
The yellow circles on the map to the left represent the twenty-one Spanish Missions in California. Click on one for more information on that mission![an error occurred while processing this directive]
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Mission San Diego de Alcalá
The founding of Mission San Diego started everything. It started on July 16th, 1769 near a brushwood chapel built on a small hill by the bay. Father Junipero Serrá named the first mission after the nearby bay of Saint Didacus of Alcalá. The original spot of the mission did not work out, however. It was too close to the presido. It was already hard to find Native Americans to work on the missions, and the harsh* treatment of the soldiers just made it worse. So the mission was moved about six miles inland* to more water and better soil.