tower of Mission Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz

Missions of

Mission San Anonio mission map stolen shamelessly from its link
San Antonio. The map's red dots are these photos' sources.

the bells of Mission San Gabriel
Bells at San Luis Obispo and San Gabriel

Saint in a niche at Mission San Gabriel wall at Mission San Gabriel
San Gabriel, and at right, San Luis Obispo
Mission San Luis Obispo entrance

Only four of the original 21 California missions remain in Franciscan hands today: Santa Barbara, San Miguel, San Antonio, and San Luis Rey.

Mission San Gabriel, closed due to earthquake damage tiled bench in the garden of Mission San Juan Bautista Mission San Jose, west side Mission San Jose, east side
San Miguel; a bench in the garden at San Juan Bautista, and San José.
(Almost all of these pictures are thumbnails -- click to zoom)

doorway at Mission San Luis Obispo votive candles in Mission San Antonio holy water vessel in Mission San Antonio inside Mission San Luis Obispo painted wall at Missian San Antonio
Views inside San Luis Obispo and San Antonio: smooth, cool walls decorated with painting.
Those dark half-circles contain shallow vessels of holy water.

Mission San Antonio In some cases (San Rafael, Santa Cruz, and Soledad, for example) the current buildings are replicas, constructed on or near the original site (and the structure at Santa Cruz is actually a scaled down model of the original).
San Clemente is known as the Jewel of the Missions; Santa Barbara, the Queen. There's downtown thrift shops across the street from San Buenaventura... San Luis Obispo is also downtown, adjacent to the shady river. San Antonio (left) is inside a military reservation, and San Francisco de Asís (the "Mission Dolores") is the oldest building in the city.

Mission Santa Inez
Santa Inés, or Ynez, the first mission I really noticed, just outside the faux-Skandinavian/Euro town of Solvang. For some reason, the mitten-shape of this paddle cactus section intrigued me.
a cactus at Mission Santa Inez

looking down Mission San Juan Bautista's loggia Mission San Miguel
Above, earthquake-damaged San Miguel. Right off the 101, so easy to visit; too bad about its closure. To the left, San Juan Bautista, the "Vertigo" mission. Across the square, the stables are just as they were in the film (as is the adjacent hotel, where Scotty's hearing was held).
Mission San Juan Bautista

inside Mission San Juan Bautista inside Mission Santa Cruz inside Mission San Luis Obispo
Inside San Juan Bautista (altar close-up), Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo

sign at Mission San Gabriel
South of Pasadena, el Camino's local name is Valley Blvd -- San Gabriel has this welcoming sign at the closest point.
        el Camino Real bell w/ sunset
Concerning the Bells of el Camino Real
distant el Camino Real bell
Driving along the 101 between LA and the Bay Area, they whip by every few miles. Some have the labeling sign, others are just out there.

I was raised Protestant, am unfamiliar with the Papist rituals; but the Californian history interests me. Since I didn't move here until way past graduation, I missed out on fourth grade, when the kids learn California history -- some of their classes might use this Mission Game lesson plan, complete with board and cards.

If you'd like more information, visit these sites:
Full names of the Alte Califorña missions, in chronological order of establishment:
  1. San Diego de Alcalá
  2. San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo
  3. San Antonio de Padua
  4. San Gabriel Arcángel
  5. San Luis Obispo de Tolosa
  6. San Francisco de Asís
  7. San Juan Capistrano
  8. Santa Clara de Asís
  9. San Buenaventura
  10. Santa Bárbara
  11. La Purísima Concepción
  12. Santa Cruz
  13. Nuestra Señora de la Soledad
  14. San José
  15. San Juan Bautista
  16. San Miguel Arcángel
  17. San Fernando Rey de España
  18. San Luis Rey de Francia
  19. Santa Inés
  20. San Rafael Arcángel
  21. San Francisco Solano

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