One of the most beloved missionary places of the Baja peninsula, Misión Nuestra Señora de Loreto, in Loreto BCS Mexico, was the first California mission in the chain of 21 missions along California’s El Camino Real (“The Royal Highway”). It is considered as the origin of all California missions. Many expeditions that made possible the establishment of other missions and later the development of towns and cities departed from this place. It is a breathtaking step back into history, as you enter the stone entranceway greeted by two statues of angels holding sea shells containing holy water. The architecture and artistry is something to behold and somehow transports your mind and spirit. The alter and simple statues with their offerings and candles depict the deep religious connection and continuous testament to this historic Baja hall.
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Located in the Monqui settlement region of Concho, the present city of Loreto was established by the Jesuit missionary, Juan Miria de Salvatierra on October 25, 1697. The mission is considered the Mother of all Spanish missions in the upper and lower California region. Father Francisco Marja Piccolo and Captain Antonio Garcia de Mendoza, together with the local “guaycura” Indians, built the mission’s first temple. Later, in 1740, father Jaime Bravo started the construction of a larger temple, which was finished in 1752. The mission has endured relentless hurricanes and earthquakes and often times leaving it on the verge of collapse. In the heart of down town Loreto, the Mission sits on high ground on a small cobble stone street lined with very old sculptured trees that span the beautiful walk. The large open square adjacent to the mission, no doubt a central meeting place for vendors and events from then and now. The town of Loreto has taken great pride in protecting the mission and maintaing the old world charm of this now Magic Town, Pueblo Magico.
Today the mission stands as a champion of the faith and a major contribution to the building and establishment of the Mexican Nation in the great Continent of Baja. Today the mission is open to the public. It is a working mission with mass and working bells that can bea heard many times to make the day and remind us of the importance of this place and the faith and effort put forth by the peoples of Baja to endure this harsh environment. The tourist center is located at the corner of the mission and helps visitors interested in learning and exploring Loreto and all it has to offer. This unique destination is very peaceful and friendly, without the hustle found in many tourist spots in Mexico. The atmosphere is fun, happy and definitely a must see when visiting baja California. The La Damiana Inn is the perfect hotel in Loreto, centrally located just steps from the Mission and center of town. It is another historic building fully restored and renovated with modern amenities that you will are unlikely to find in many other hotel destinations. Check out our accommodations page and contact us for special room rates.
#1 Loreto BCS Mexico Hotel Experience… See you soon!