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The Spanish missions in California comprise a series of 21 religious outposts omissions established between 1769 and 1833 in California. Founded by Catholic priests of the Franciscan order to evangelize the Native Americans, the missions led to the creation of the New Spain province of Alta California and were part of the expansion of the Spanish Empire into the most northern and western parts of Spanish North America.

The surviving mission buildings are the state’s oldest structures, and its most-visited historic monuments. The oldest cities of California formed around or near Spanish missions, including the four largest: Los AngelesSan DiegoSan Jose, and San Francisco.