Monday, August 10, 2009

San Juan Capistrano

(May 28, 2009) We were up early, ate breakfast and showered so we could get on the road to San Juan Capistrano.  As I mentioned a couple entries back, we stopped there on the way to the campground but the mission was closed for the day. 

Once we got parked, we strolled down the block toward the mission.  I soon discovered that this little town of San Juan Capistrano is a place you could spend a couple days exploring.  The first place we stopped  was ‘The Old Barn Antiques Mall’  stall after stall (10,000 sq feet)  rented by different folks to sell their wares  on consignment.  Most of the items were antiques and/or collectibles. We spent maybe 45 minutes in there and just barely got inside the door.  It’s one of those places where you keep seeing things and you say to yourself “I remember grandma had one of those” or “mom had one of those when I was a kid, I wonder what happened to it?” 

We continued on crossing the street to the main entrance of the mission.  Founded in 1776, this mission is the seventh on the mission chain.  Called the “Jewel of the Missions” it occupies a 10 acre site.  There’s a central courtyard, many museum rooms and displays. The Sierra Chapel is one of the oldest buildings in California.  The ruins of the Great Stone Church are also found inside the Mission walls.  It was almost completely destroyed in an earthquake during Sunday morning service in 1812 killing 42 Native American worshippers. 

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Pictured with this plaque is one of the Mission Bells seen along Highway 101  denoting the route created in the late 1700’s to connect the Missions (El Camino Real~The Kings Highway)

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The wheel pictured below was used to grind olives into oil.

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This is an example of the huts the Native American’s from this area lived in.

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Some pictures depicting the rooms that the early folks used for living quarters. After seeing these cots ~ I will never again complain about an uncomfortable bed.

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These were the ovens used to bake the mission’s bread.

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Some vintage garden tools below

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Sitting on a bench in a cool passage way~a beautiful view of the gardens.

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A diorama featuring the first baptism at this mission.

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The beautiful Sierra Chapel. Mass was first celebrated here in 1783.

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Looking towards the back of the chapel

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All of the missions seem to have their own cemeteries.  Looking at some of the headstones, you know this place has been here a long time.

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Some resting places are very crude….

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The Bell Wall

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Below are some of southern California’s beautiful Jacaranda Trees with their purple flowers.  I love them & wish they would grow in the Pacific Northwest.

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Below are a few pictures of the original buildings that were pretty much destroyed in an 1812 earthquake.  They’ve done a great job of carrying for the portions that didn’t collapse, killing over 40 people.

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Our day here is almost over….

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Just before we left the mission grounds we came upon this tree.  I’m sorry, I can’t remember the name of it but I don’t imagine any little boy would ever try climbing it.  Ouch….

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If you ever get to southern California, I hope you’ll take a day and visit San Juan Capistrano.  It’s truly a beautiful place……..


  1. Thanks for taking us through San Juan Capistrano, Linda. I have been to California several times, but until now, I had never seen this mission. It was very interesting.

  2. LOL, I wouldn't want to see someone try to climb that tree either!!!

    It looks like such a gorgeous place to see in person. Those beds are tiny, can't imagine sleeping on one of them. I liked the picture of the lizard. Looks like a great day and a good time.

  3. you captured the mission very well, Linda; great descriptions of it and fantastic pictures! loved the one with the lizard, cute! I have to agree about that tree; surely would be uncomfortable to climb


  4. (((((((((((((HUGSTOYOU))))))))))))))))))Very beatiful,now,I am thinking I shouldnt complain about sleeping in my comfy bed after seeing what they slept on.I love reding all about your Journeys.I hope that someday,I ill get to travel like you,even thoe,I been to a few places,I would like to travel and look at all the places,were they came from,ect.Thanks.Hve a nice evening,

  5. We've past by a couple of times but have never stopped... I will have to tell hubby... What a beautiful place... many a school project has been done on the California missions with the boys.. :)


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