To schedule a tour of St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica, please download the tour reservation form. Tour Reservation_Form

The first civilian settlement in Alta California was founded on November 29, 1777. The Spaniards named it Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe. It was located 1½ mile north of here in the area of what is now North First and Mission Streets. The county offices are currently located there.  Due to the annual flooding of the Guadalupe River, the pueblo was finally allowed to relocate to this central area in 1797. The town plaza ran from what is now San Carlos to St. John Streets and from Market to San Pedro, one block west of here. Plaza de Cesar Chavez is the only remaining part of that original plaza.


In 1985, the Vatican approved this church building as the Cathedral of the new diocese—pending its full restoration. Major restoration began in March of 1987 and lasted to the end of October 1990. Saint Joseph’s was dedicated as the Cathedral of Saint Joseph on November, 4, 1990, with Bishop Pierre DuMaine presiding. Saint Joseph’s is listed in both state and federal registers as an historic landmark. The Franciscans administered the parish for 48 years, from 1803 to 1851; the Jesuits for 141 years, from 1851 to 1992. Diocesan priests currently administer the Cathedral parish.