Californian Mission: Santa Barbara (10)

On our road-trip down the Pacific Highway 1 from San Francisco to San Diego in 2009  we  had an overnight stay in Santa Barbara, known as the American Riviera. It is an expensive city to stay in as it is very popular with holidaying Americans and not too far from Los Angeles. Nestled in amongst the gently rolling hills above the Pacific Ocean it is  known for its Moorish architecture, colourful history and beauty. Naturally, before we left, I had to have a look at the 10th historic mission founded there in 1786 and known as The Queen of the Missions.

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Californian Mission: San Juan Bautista (15)

Founded June 24 1797, San Juan Bautista is the fifteenth mission in the chain stretching from San Diego to San Francisco along the coastal strip. The missionaries had hoped to establish missions only a day’s ride apart, but there were still long stretches between them making travel difficult and dangerous. A site in the San Juan Valley, some 90 miles southeast of San Francisco, was selected for the Mission of San Juan Bautista – St John the Baptist.

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Californian Mission: Santa Clara de Asís (8)

My third Mission is Santa Clara de Asís,  founded on January 12 1777.  It is the eighth Californian Mission and located in the grounds of the University of Santa Clara. Whilst staying in the city of Santa Clara, some 40 miles south of San Francisco, I decided to investigate a few more Californian Missions, this one being the closest.

Named after Saint Claire of Assisi, a thirteenth century Italian nun, this mission was the first to be named after a female saint. It has been destroyed and rebuilt no fewer than six times and the current church is a modern interpretation of the fifth church which was built in 1825 and later destroyed by fire. Its layout is the traditional quadrangle. Continue reading Californian Mission: Santa Clara de Asís (8)

Californian Mission: San Carlos Borroméo (2)

Continuing on from my previous post about my obsession with California’s Missions (read about the first one for background information) the next mission to be founded was on the outskirts of Carmel, 5 miles south of Monterey. I first saw this mission on my PCH trip, but unfortunately arrived there too late to go inside the grounds. On my next visit to California we were staying in Santa Clara and I took the opportunity to drive back to Carmel and visit this lovely Mission. It is considered to be the loveliest mission in the chain of nine missions that stretches along California’s Central Coast. Continue reading Californian Mission: San Carlos Borroméo (2)

Californian Mission: San Diego de Alcala (1)

During my visits to California I have become interested obsessed with the Californian Missions. I have previously written about one mission in San Francisco – Mission Dolores – but want to tell you about a few of the other 21 missions I have managed to get to beginning with the first mission in San Diego. I enjoy visiting them because they represent a vibrant chapter of California’s past, they are tranquil spaces, often in large conurbations and often combine my love of architecture and gardens. Continue reading Californian Mission: San Diego de Alcala (1)