A lot of effort is clearly made to make the grounds colorful and clean. As I arrived early in the morning the groundscrew was out in force raking up the debris that had fallen from the shrubs and trees overnight. The tidy gardens are very pleasing and seem to indicate that the historic mission is in good hands.
The grounds at the San Juan Capistrano Mission are open every day except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the afternoon of Good Friday. Admission is $6 and well worth the price, especially since the admission price helps support the restoration projects at the mission. Currently, there is a $20 million restoration campaign. The mission is a purely non-profit endeavor and is not supported by any government funds.
In my opinion, the mission is best viewed as a self-guided tour. There are several well-written interpretative placards at the various exhibits. The thing that struck me about the barracks was the diminutive furniture. I would be very uncomfortable if forced to use the tables and chairs, while the beds would certainly collapse if forced to bear my weight.
The Mission. People know about San Juan Capistrano because of the birds, but they fail to mention the beauty hidden in the Mission. Pay the admission fee, fo inside and lose yourself in peace and tranquility. If you happen to have some coins on you, put it on the top of you shoe, make a wish and flip the coin into the fountain.
My wish came true. Maybe yours will too.
They are still excavating the Mission compound and are finding many of the original rooms and work areas. There is an architectural office at the back of the mission. Since the 70's they have found over 4,000 pieces of pottery and other artifacts.
The picture is of the metal furnance, the first in California.
In the Serra Chapel the 350-year old golden Baroque alter was sent from Spain. Notice how brilliant the gold is in the photo. The Chapel was built in 1776-78 and is the oldest building in California. In the early 1920's it was restored by Father St. John O'Sullivan, pastor of the Mission from 1910-33. He was dubbed "the great restorer of the mission". The silver processional pieces were brought by Father Serra from Mexico.
The bells were originally hung in the tower of the Great Stone Church until the earthquake of 1812. The large bells date back to 1796 and the small bells to 1804. These were the clocks of the mission calling people to meals, work and religions services.
Hyatt Moore's paintings were on display in the Mission. He's a very talented artist and paints from his travels around the world. The painting of the Last Supper seemed perfect to put on VT as so many countries are represented. You will need to click on the photo to see it all.
The Last Supper with Twelve Tribes was painted in the year 2000 to commemorate the inclusion of all peoples under God. It’s oil on canvas (with acrylic under-painting) and at 20 feet wide by 4.5 feet high it is basically life size. Painted in British Columbia, Canada, it is currently on display in California, and sometimes on tour.
Depicted (from left) are: Crow of Montana, Berber of North Africa, Masai of Kenya, China, Ecuador, Afghanistan, Jesus, Ethiopia, Tzeltal of Mexico, Canela of Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Salish of British Columbia, Mongolia. (quoted from Hyatt Moore's website.)
If Hyatt Moore's paintings are no longer on display at the Mission, there are a few at Diedrich's Coffee shop.
If your are interested in seeing some others in his collection, visit his website listed below.
San Juan Capisrano also offers lots of shopping in unique boutique shops, and antiques shops all over town. Here is a picture of the Trading Post. It is located across the street from the mission and has been a popular San Juan Capistrano landmark for years. Here you can purchase souveiners of all kinds and some of the most beautiful silver jewelry imaginable.
The beautiful Mission garden & fountain is what guests first see when they first enter the Mission. People always rave over the flowers in the garden, often saying how beautiful they are.
In the Los Rio Historic district is Jones Mini Farm, a small farm where children can see the animals
This statue is located in front of the Great Stone Church and is of Father Serra and the Indian Boy, the famous statue denotes the meeting of cultures.
27174 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, California, 92675, United States
Good for: Solo
28742 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, California, 92675, United States
Good for: Solo
I stayed at Mission Inn last weekend. It's a charming conversion of a motel to a bed n' breakfast/in...more