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St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church Bodega, California

St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church
St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church Bodega, california

Bodega Church shown in the pictures above is St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, appearing in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds. Ansel Adams also created a striking portrait of this house of worship with black and white film.

There are numerous St. Teresa of Avila Catholic churches in the United States. One of the largest is in Georgia, and, in addition to the church in Bodega, California, shown above, there's also one in Auburn, Calif. The St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church shown above was built in 1861, and is believed to be the oldest Catholic church in continuous use in Sonoma County. Sitting atop a hill overlooking the small community of Bodega and a great artisans coop, the church blocks the view of another famous structure.

Behind the church is the Potter School, appearing in the movie, The Birds. The white structure hidden on the far right, slightly peaking through behind the church, is immortalized in paintings by local artist Annie Murphy Springer, who sells her art at the Artisans Coop and on the Internet. The church, itself, appears in the movie, and hosted Alfred Hitchcock at a service or two.

At the bottom of the hill in a valley surrounded my gently rolling hills and mountain slopes, you can look up and see this beautiful white church rising into the sky. Photographed literally thousands upon thousands of times, one of the more famous photographers who turned his image into a black & white photo was Ansel Adams.

From below the hill and path that cars can drive up, stands a sign and mounted church bell. The sign dates the church to 1862, though construction began several years earlier. Portuguese and Spanish shipbuilders constructed the long-standing structure with its towering steeple. One of the church's unique interior features is the lack of a center aisle. According to the sign with the bell, the church is open for Tuesday and Thursday mass at 9 a.m.; Spanish Mass on  Saturdays at  7 p.m.; and Sundays at 9 a.m. The church is an ideal place to go when staying at nearby,  Bodega Bay, a city located on a bay (as the name indicates), next to the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to being a popular tourist destination and great escape for weekend getaways from San Francisco and L.A., Bodega Bay offers a home base for exploring places such as the quaint community of Bodega.

Bodega map


Bodega Bay < Bodega > Sebastopol