Established: January 12, 1777
By: Father Junipero Serra
Order: 8th of the 21 missions
Location: 40 miles SE of San Francisco
Named: For St. Clare of Assisi
Interesting Fact: 2 of the 3 bells were gifts from the King of Spain of 1799
Mission Santa Clara de Asís was the first mission built in the northern half of California. This wonderful mission is located northeast of Santa Cruz and southeast of San Jose. Father Serra founded Mission Santa Clara de Asis in 1777. He named this wonderful place after St. Clara of Assisi who took care of nuns. A total of six different churches were built; five having been destroyed by floods or fires. The dimensions for the fifth church were 100 feet by 44 feet, and 25 feet high.
A large wonderful patio is located at the center of the mission. This where most Indians would have a siesta. If you look at the bell tower you will notice there is only one bell because the other two were destroyed. As you look to the right of the church you will see a spooky cemetery whose tombstones date back to the 1700's. If you look north from the soldiers' quarters you will see wonderful vineyards.
This particular mission was in use for 44 years. It was secularized in 1836 by the Mexican government. In 1926, a terrible fire destroyed most of the mission. It was rebuilt in 1929 with whatever remnants they could find. After this, the Jesuits built a college there. Today, you can visit Mission Santa Clara and see its interesting history yourself.