Mission Santa Cruz was a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order in present-day Santa Cruz, California. Restored to its original appearance, the austere single-story adobe was once housing for the California Indian residents of the Mission.
The Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park (Misión la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz) sits atop Mission Hill offering a patio, gardens, and excellent views of the city. The park features the only building left of the 12th California Mission, Misión la Exaltacion de la Santa Cruz, founded by the Franciscans in 1791. Restored to its original appearance, the austere single-story adobe was once housing for the California Indian residents of the Mission. Exhibits inside tell the story of the mission through the lens of the experience of the Ohlone and Yokut people.
The adobe structure is constructed from bricks, made primarily from mud and straw, and stands as a reminder of the past. The Santa Cruz Mission was established in 1791 and built between the years of 1822 and 1824, mostly by the hard work of Native Americans in what was then known as “Alta California.” These Native Americans were the main residents in what is now Santa Cruz County’s oldest building. The lovely, single-story adobe has been restored to its original appearance.
The current Holy Cross Church was built on the site of the original mission church in 1889, and it remains an active parish of the Diocese of Monterey. A half-size replica of the original mission church was built near the mission site in the 1930s and functions as a chapel of Holy Cross Church. Today's Plaza Park occupies the same location as the original plaza, at the center of the former Mission complex. The complex at one time included as many as 32 buildings. The only surviving mission building, a dormitory for native acolytes, has been restored to its original appearance and functions as a museum of the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park.