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Mission San Jose, the fourteenth Spanish mission established in California


History in San Jose

San Jose’s roots run deep throughout the Bay Area and California. San Jose was the first state capitol, played a big role during the gold rush and stakes its claim today as the heart of Silicon Valley. No matter what history piques your interest, you can visit the places and learn more about the events that took root in San Jose and influenced the world.

While Silicon Valley is looking to the future with new innovative ideas, glimpses of the past can be found around every corner here. Visit some of our best-known historical attractions and discover stories of San Jose’s rich past. 

Historical Landmarks and Monuments

San Jose history is all around, but rarely seen by the unsuspecting guest. Be sure to take the historical downtown walking tour, or check out these iconic landmarks to learn about San Jose’s role in shaping California history. 


Spend a day browsing one of the many museums in San Jose. Get a deeper look at San Jose’s history, or explore ancient history Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum or get to know the important role Japanese Americans played in building the city, state and country at Japanese American Museum of San Jose

All History