In “My City,” as a way to experience and enjoy more of where I live, I will share new and interesting places, restaurants, things to do, etc. as well as some of my tried and true favorites in Orange County and Southern California. Today, the Mission San Juan Capistrano.
It has been years since I went to the San Juan Capistrano Mission. When my family recently visited around the holidays, we drove down to SJC to walk around the downtown area and found ourselves stopping in at the mission.
There are 21 missions in California, along the coast from San Francisco all the way to San Diego. The missions represent some of California’s oldest history, something that is typically difficult to find in California (at least compared to how much history there is in cities like Boston or New York). The San Juan Capistrano Mission is a small piece of history surrounded by modern restaurants and stores, and some say is the birthplace of Southern California.
This particular mission was founded in 1775 by the Spanish, the seventh of the 21 missions. The original mission (pun intended) of the founders was to help spread Christianity to Native Americans and to train them in a European lifestyle. I won’t go too much into the inherent racism of this but let’s just say that this didn’t go over too well with most Native Americans.
However, over time many Native Americans were baptized Catholic and called the mission home. Eventually the mission housed over 1000 people until its decline in the mid-1800s. Today, the mission is owned by the Catholic Church although no one lives there. It continues to be preserved as a historical, religious site.
In the past, my family has taken the guided tour of the mission but it is also just a beautiful piece of land, especially if you enjoy history. On the day we went, we walked around and let Lorelei crawl around and explore, and took lots of pictures of course.
See below for more photos of our visit…
She refuses to walk… 🙂
Mission San Juan Capistrano/26801 Ortega Hwy/San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 www.missionsjc.com