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”).