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Continuing our more than two-century legacy, The Historic Mausoleum at Old Mission Santa Barbara offers a safe and sacred space for the inurnment of people of faith and good will.  Rooted in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, we believe in the dignity of life and in the promise of eternal life.  We honor those who have died with reverence and respect.  We provide a serene environment as a place of peace and welcome for families and friends to remember and to pray for their loved ones.


The original portion of the mausoleum was built in 1878.  Three different times over the years, the building was expanded to provide the needed space for the Franciscan friars that passed.  It is now the resting place for 119 friars, 11 Franciscan Sisters, and 44 lay people with important connections to Old Mission Santa Barbara, to the history of the Santa Barbara area, and to the Franciscan Order.

As part of the commitment to preserve and enhance the treasure that is Old Mission Santa Barbara, a complete earthquake retrofit was completed on the Historic Mausoleum.  In conjunction with this work, several important interior and exterior enhancements were completed as well. The project included a number of essential repairs that addressed years of aging and deterioration. These improvements will serve to protect the structure from ground water and other environmental damage and guard the overall structural integrity. All construction followed historical guidelines and assured that the integrity of the mausoleum is being maintained.

A significant part of the refurbishment is the installation of a new columbarium, which allows the Old Mission cemetery to provide niches as inurnment space for the public.  This is a new and exciting chapter in the Old Mission’s cemetery history, one that continues to be written.


The Historic Mausoleum building offers a limited number of niche spaces for the placement of cremated remains.  The columbarium has been designed and crafted to create strikingly beautiful and unique spaces within this historical sacred structure. The overall design echoes the traditions of the founding Franciscans and seeks to honor both the history and spirit of Old Mission Santa Barbara.

The individual niches are built with high-strength concrete board side and top walls.  The faces of the niches are solid marble attached to the niche structure by an engineered locking system with no visible components.

The columbarium has three different sections separated by location and stone-facing design.

San Damiano section features a centrally located San Damiano cross faced in rouge matador marble.  Two Tau crosses of the same stone facing are located in this section and are framed by niche faces of crema marfil marble. The Tau cross is an important symbol and is universally recognized as Franciscan.

Tree of Life section is located under a large window that overlooks the cemetery grounds. The window is framed by green forest marble in an abstract representation of a tree. This unique marble contains actual fossilized tree roots and represents our connection in the circle of life.

Our New St. Francis and St. Clare Memorial Walls are a perfect way to memorialize a loved one with burial rights elsewhere.  Handcrafted by accomplished artisans, these walls are situated on either side of our main columbarium wall, the San Damiano Wall.

Just as the columbarium and memorial walls have been integrated into the mausoleum structure, so has the art been blended into the columbarium. The niches themselves stand as an artistic expression of the beauty of our earth and the symbols of connection with the earth.


For more information on cremation click here

For information regarding the Code of Canon Law governing cremation, please click here.

Contact us for more information on the Mausoleum-Columbarium.