San Juan Capistrano California

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San Juan Capistrano California

San Juan Capistrano California is one of a string of 21 missions. Originally built by the Spaniards in the late 1700s. Purpose to proselytize and protect Spanish interests The missions appear along the El Camino Real. As a result, the missions follow the road from San Diego to Sonoma. Here is a link to the San Juan Capistrano Mission. Made this visit following the Lyon Air Museum. Here is the link.

Above all, the mission’s purpose is part of Spain’s colonization of California. The missions bring Catholicism to the local people and provide a Spanish presence in the area. Therefore, soldiers protect the mission and other Spanish interests.

Pictures from the mission

San Juan Capistrano
Mother Mary at the entrance of the mission

The Swallows return to Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano California
When the swallows come back to Capistrano
Swallows Return to Capistrano
When the swallows return.
Capistrano Swallows
Swallows of Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano California
Swallow nests to entice swallows to return to the mission. They still come to Capistrano but not to the mission for a number of years.

A possible explanation of earlier visits by swallows: The head of the mission approached a shopkeeper in the town. The shopkeeper destroyed or chased the swallows away. The priest told the swallows they were welcome at the mission. The next day the swallows started appearing.

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Great Stone Church

San Juan Capistrano California
Great Stone Church that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812, just 6 years after it was completed. The ruins are still standing. You are seeing the front of the church.
Great Stone Church
Wide angle view of the Great Stone Church
Another view of the Great Stone Church

Father Juniper Serra

San Juan Capistrano California
First head of the San Juan Capistrano California mission
San Juan Capistrano California
Another view of Father Juniper
Father Juniper Serra
Commemorating Father Juniper Serra

Father Juniper headed the mission in the early years. As a result, he is commemorated often.

Today’s Basilica San Juan Capistrano California

San Juan Capistrano Mission Basilica Pastoral Center
The basilica is located next to the old mission
San Juan Capistrano California
Today’s church replacing the mission

Historical District San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano California
Historical district of San Juan Capistrano


Great visit to San Juan Capistrano! Because I’ve heard of this all my life. Finally get to see it. Above all, the mission plays an important part of California history. Consequently, a great day to see history.

Next, a visit to the Richard Nixon Museum. Following that will be a visit to Catalina Island (link)

The Driveby Tourist