An active Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of San José. Since 1851, it has been the spiritual center of what is now the University of Santa Clara.

Santa Clara de Asís was founded on January 12, 1777 and was the first mission in California to honor a female saint, Saint Claire of Assisi, a 13th century Italian nun. Also known as Mission Santa Clara, this mission is the site of the first and oldest university in California, Santa Clara University, which was founded in 1851.

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Santa Clara University is five (5) miles from San José Airport and 35 miles from the San Francisco Airport.


Please contact the Mission directly by telephone or by visiting the mission website for the most current information.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it is best to check for current information.


Weddings have to be scheduled by calling the Mission office at 408-554-4023 or by visiting the wedding page on the Mission website. A year-and-a-half notice is strongly recommended. This is a popular place for weddings by those who have attended Santa Clara University and they are given preference.


Santa Clara is the oldest university in California. It developed from the Mission founded in 1777.

The church is an attractive "modern interpretation" of the 1825 church.

This is an active church serving the university and local community.

The Altar of Remembrance honoring those who have died.

There is a well-maintained rose garden to the right of the church. This was the site of a

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The formal burial grounds for the remains of the dead. Most of the mission cemeteries were sited adjacent to the mission church.
Sun-dried bricks made of clay mined with straw and sometimes horse manure, then baked in the sun. Also refers to structures made of this material.
">adobe wall has been preserved on the mission grounds. There is a plaque containing information about the walls in 1822.

The side view of the restored mission church shows the wooden cross erected in 1777. It now has a protective casing.


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Mission Santa Clara Photograph by Jo Ga
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Santa Clara de Asis Altar of RemembranceSanta Clara Mission Adobe Wall
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Santa Clara de Asis View of Church and Its Historic Cross

It is possible to visit Missions Santa Clara, San Jose and Santa Cruz in one full day if you start early.


Enjoy Santa Clara for its unique history, landscaped grounds, and the vibrant spirit of a large Catholic University where a mission church is a center of campus life.The campus bookstore has a small collection of material on the mission. This is not a mission gift shop.

Saint Clare of Assisi, considered the co-foundress (with Saint Francis) of the Order of Poor Clares.

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Saint Clare of Assisi
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Santa Clara de Asis Portrait Fr. Junípero Serra
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Four-sided enclosure. Most missions were laid out using a quadrangle design.
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Santa Clara de Asis Cattle Brand
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Mission Santa Clara 1848
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Santa Clara Burning of the Mission 1926