Mission Santa Inez Museum, Solvang
Founded by father Estevan Tapis on September 17, 1804 Mission Santa Inez is sometimes referred to as the "Hidden Gem" of the missions. The Mission, which commands a superb view of the Santa Ynez River Valley and the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountain ranges, continues its central role in the spiritual and social life of the Santa Ynez Valley as an active parish church of approximately 1,000 families.
Clothing worn by the father as he performed the ceremony as early as 1804, over 200 years ago is preserved in the museum and accessible to public taking the guided tour or just walking around. There is a gift shop outside of the museum selling some mission related souveniers.. I would encourage everyone to purchase anything that interests you in order to support this wonderful historical site.
A taped audio tour is available in the gift shop to guide visitors through the Museum rooms, church, and garden. The Museum is very interesting displaying some of the oldest preserved bells of the mission.
A cactus and succulent garden border the colonnade. In 1995 a rose garden was planted to beautify another plot of ground. Unfortunately the roses were not yet in bloom when we visited.
There are some wonderful views from the mission grounds overlooking the Santa Inez Valley.
Mission Santa Inez is the 19th of 21 California missions established by Franciscan priests. It was founded in 1804 and is named for St. Agnes, an early Christian martyr of the fourth century.
The Spanish architecture is quite a contrast from the Scandanavian motif all around Solvang.
It has an active parish as we took notice when we visited Easter morning. The church was overflowing with people so chairs and tents were provided outside with a big screen TV. A progressive church!.