San Juan Bautista; Spanish Mission in California. (part 4)

The story of our visit to the Mission continues. We left the Santa Clara University and drove to the small town of San Juan Bautista where we had lunch in the park.  Some 30  historic buildings in a 12-block area surround  the Spanish Plaza on which the mission is located. Founded on June 24, 1797 by Fermín Lasuén of the Franciscan order, the mission was the fifteenth of the Spanish missions established in present-day California. It was named for St. John the Baptist. With a three-aisle entrance to the altar, it was the widest of the mission churches.The mission is situated adjacent to the San Andreas Fault, and has suffered damage from numerous earthquakes,  such as those of 1800 and 1906. However, the mission was never entirely destroyed at once. It was restored initially in 1884, and then again in 1949. It is still an active Catholic church.

Part of the original El Camino Real is visible just beyond walls of mission cemetery.  Each missions, sources or wonder and beauty-originally- had to be a day’s ride on horseback apart, along 600 miles of California’s beautiful coastline. Once again, we enjoyed the visit of the buildings, the museum and the gardens. The first photo is a view of the restored Mission San Juan Bautista and its three-bell campanario (“bell wall”).


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Santa Clara; Spanish Mission in California.(part 3)

When you make a plan and you have an address nothing is easier than getting there. Especially when you have a GPS. So after visiting Mission San José in Fremont, we drove  about 30 minutes to arrive on the Santa Clara University Campus. The Mission was   founded in 1777, the eight of 21 missions built in California  in the 1700s. St.Clare of Assisi’s close friendship with St.Francis inspired Padre Serra to name this mission after her. It is the first mission named for a woman. It is also the only mission to be associated with a university.

The building is a replica of the third mission , which was built in 1825.The original garden is intact and is a lovely place to wander. A superb rose garden, all different colors ,some  olive trees as well.  They used to have 40 olive trees to supply the early padres with olives and oil.Benches to sit quietly and enjoy the serenity of the place. And as in all the Mission, we can see  a life-sized statue of Padre Junipero Serra, the  founder of the Missions.  From all the missions we visited during our trip this one  gets a  star. We were delighted by our visit  and  were thinking it must be nice to be a student on this campus.


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San José; Spanish Missions in California. (part 2)

October 2014.

In March 2013, while spending some time in California , I visited the Spanish Mission at San Juan Capistrano. It was wonderful to be there and take photos of the place. Then, I discovered there was 21  Spanish missions in California. I bought a post card  to visualize  where they are located. I got the idea it would be fun to go back to California and visit few more. This is why we made a plan to do a road trip. After 1,555 km ( 3 days ) we visited  the Mission San José in Fremont.  It was the 14th of the 21 Spanish Mission. This one was founded in 1797  by Father Femin Francisco de Lasuén. The original abode structure was destroyed by an earthquake  in 1868. The interior of the reconstructed church is unusually elegant, containing crystal chandeliers, murals, religious paintings and a gold leaf altar. It is considered to be a near-perfect replica of the original church, though it incorporates a concealed structural steel frame which provides earthquake resistance. You can also visit a small museum which displays old paintings, photographs,and exhibits about the Ohlone Indians.


Here is the postcard showing where we can find the  21 Spanish  Missions.


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Inside of the church.


This was the first  Mission we visited , we were able to see two more that day. I will write about them in another post.

Spanish Missions in California. (part 1)

It is now October 15…time flies, time runs too fast. I came back from our road trip a week ago. How strange how time feels different when you are away  compared to be at home. This trip has been great. The weather was fantastic. It felt more like summer  than fall but after all California is not British-Columbia. There were so many places to see and so many photos taken, I am still trying to edit them.

In March 2013, I visited the Mission in San Juan Capistrano. I enjoyed it very much. It was then I learned that  there were 21 Spanish Missions in California. The idea to see more was set. So, 1 years and a half later we were on our own mission to visit few more. We actually visited 9 on this trip. I will talk more about those one in another post.

Today I want to talk and show more about  the Mission San Juan Capistrano. The gardens are  wonderful to see with  all kind of flowers, old benches, a fountain with  fishes. The buildings are great. The whole story about the Mission is quite interesting. It all started with Father Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan friar. The missions were primarily designed to convert the natives. Other aims were to integrate the neophytes into Spanish society, and to train them to take over ownership and management of the land. As head of the order in California, Serra not only dealt with church officials, but also with Spanish officials in Mexico City and with the local military officers who commanded the nearby presidios (garrisons).                                                                                                                                                                   

The first mission to be founded was in San Diego. The Mission in SJC was the 7th to be founded in 1776. If you go to San Juan Capistrano, make sure you visit the Mission.  More on our road trip-2014- another day.                                                

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