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Mission San Miguel Arcángel

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Title: Mission San Miguel Arcángel  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Esteban Munras, History of San Luis Obispo County, California, Mission Indians, San Pedro y San Pablo Asistencia, Atascadero, California
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mission San Miguel Arcángel

Mission San Miguel Arcángel
Mission San Miguel Arcángel
San Miguel's various-sized arches are a noted feature of this mission
Mission San Miguel Arcángel is located in California
Mission San Miguel Arcángel
Location of Mission San Miguel Arcángel in California
Location 775 Mission Street
San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, California 93451
Name as founded La Misión del Gloriosísimo Príncipe Arcángel, Señor San Miguel [1]
English translation The Mission of the Very Glorious Archangel Prince, Sir Saint Michael
Patron Saint Michael the Archangel[2]
Nickname(s) "Mission on the Highway" ...  [3]
"The Unretouched Mission" [4]
Founding date July 25, 1797 [5]
Founding priest(s) Father Fermín Lasuén [6]
Area 0.4 acres (0.16 ha)
Built 1890
Architectural style(s) Queen Anne
Founding Order Sixteenth[2]
Military district Third[7]
Native tribe(s)
Spanish name(s)
Native place name(s) Valica [8]
Baptisms 2,471[9]
Marriages 764[9]
Burials 1,868[9]
Secularized 1834[2]
Returned to the Church 1859[2]
Governing body Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey
Current use Parish Church
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
NRHP designation date July 14, 1971
NRHP # 71000191[10]
U.S. National Historic Landmark
NHL designation date March 20, 2006[11]
California Historical Landmark
CHISL # #326

Mission San Miguel Arcángel is a Spanish mission in San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, California. It was established on July 25, 1797 by the Franciscan order, on a site chosen specifically due to the large number of Salinan Indians that inhabited the area, whom the Spanish priests wanted to evangelize.

The mission remains in use as a parish church of the Diocese of Monterey. After being closed to the public for six years due to the 2003 San Simeon Earthquake, the church reopened on September 29, 2009. Inside the church are murals designed by Esteban Munras.[12]

The mission was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971[10] and was named to a National Historic Landmark in 2006.[11]


  • The Mission Arcade, a series of 12 arches, is original. The variety of shapes and sizes was planned[13] and the Mission was known for this arcade.
  • The first chapel on the site was replaced within a year of its construction by a larger adobe chapel, which burned in the 1806 fire.[13]
  • The current mission church was built between 1816 and 1818. It is 144 long, 27 feet (8.2 m) wide, and 40 feet (12 m) high.[13]
  • The cemetery adjacent to the church holds the remains of 2,249 Native Americans listed in the Mission's burial records.[13]
  • The painted walls inside the church are the original artwork by artist Esteban Munras and other Salinan artists.[13]

Mission bells

Bells were vitally important to daily life at any mission. The bells were rung at mealtimes, to call the Mission residents to work and to religious services, during births and funerals, to signal the approach of a ship or returning missionary, and at other times; novices were instructed in the intricate rituals associated with the ringing the mission bells.



  1. ^ Leffingwell, p. 91
  2. ^ a b c d Krell, p. 254
  3. ^ Engelhardt
  4. ^ Ruscin, p. 129
  5. ^ Yenne, p. 140
  6. ^ Ruscin, p. 196
  7. ^ Forbes, p. 202
  8. ^ Ruscin, p. 195
  9. ^ a b c Krell, p. 315: as of December 31, 1832; information adapted from Engelhardt's Missions and Missionaries of California.
  10. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  11. ^ a b "Mission San Miguel Arcangel". National Historic Landmark Quicklinks.  
  12. ^ Grimes, Theresa (May 19, 2005). "Mission San Miguel Arcángel" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places – Inventory Nomination Form.  
  13. ^ a b c d e "Mission San Miguel Arcangel park brochure". n.d. 

See also


External links

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