See our Sanitation and Safety Practices

The Birthplace of San Francisco - The Mission Dolores

Where can you go to experience San Francisco’s early history? The Mission San Francisco de Asis was the sixth of the twenty-one missions established by Spanish missionaries in California. It was named after St. Francis of Assisi, but it is usually referred to by its common name, the Mission Dolores. The Anza Expedition founded the mission site on June 29th 1776, which is also considered the official birthdate of the city of San Francisco. The Mission Dolores church is designated as San Francisco Historical Landmark #1.

The adobe church of the Mission Dolores seen today was founded in 1791. It is the oldest intact structure in San Francisco, and the mission cemetery is one of only two remaining in the city. Several notable names in early San Francisco history are also buried inside of the church. The Mission Dolores shares a common history with the other mission sites in California, and it is a place of reflection and contemplation on the history of the Native American tribes who first inhabited the Bay Area.

Today, the Mission Dolores is still an active church and it is of interest to anyone interested in experiencing San Francisco’s past. The mission is open on a daily basis, and a visit to the site includes the adobe church, the basilica, a small museum, gift shop, and the cemetery.