A Visit to Mission San José

Mission San José is not in San José. Probably a lot of you knew that.

I knew that the old Spanish mission in San José is Mission Santa Clara, located on the grounds of Santa Clara University. And I knew that Mission San José was somewhere else in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I was unclear on the location.

DSCF9207 (2)No more! Saturday I took my granddaughter on a field trip and we visited old Mission San José.

In Fremont. (That’s her on the steps.)

This building is actually a replica of the original adobe church.  The original building was destroyed by an earthquake in 1868. That’s the kind of thing that happens in California.

Here is a picture of the first mission church. The buildings look the same, but the old church was badly in need of a whitewashing.

Mission San José

History San Jose Photographic Collection

It is a beautiful church inside, restored to look as it did back in the day. Two of the statues are ones that were rescued from the rubble.


The walls are painted to look like they have marble pillars, door frames, and a balcony. But it is all painted on white plaster over adobe bricks.


Next time: What prominent Californian is buried under the floor of the Mission San José church?

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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