If coming here doesn’t take you back to being in fourth-grade, then I don’t know what will. I feel almost everyone at one point has been taught the history of the California missions and gone through the hassle of trying to build a model of them for their project. Not only is this place beautiful and serene, but you get to learn the history and purpose of why it was built in the first place.
I intended to arrive early to avoid crowds, but arriving in the afternoon didn’t seem like a problem since there were not as many people as I expected. In my photos, it might seem like there weren’t any people, but there were a few that would occasionally get in the way of taking my photos. I had to wait a couple of minutes or so to get a photo without anyone in it. I highly recommend taking as many photos as you can here because every corner of this place is quite beautiful! I also recommend you check the calendar on their website, link below because they are constantly having activities and events that you can attend.
Ruins of the Great Stone Church
Mission San Juan Capistrano is the birthplace of Orange County, founded on November 1, 1776, by Junipero Serra. It is the 7th out of the 21 missions founded by the Spanish in California. This mission was built as an expansion of Spanish territory, intended to educate the indigenous s Acjachemen. But, because of the diseases brought by the Spanish and no knowledge of modern medicine, the exposure of the diseases proved fatal to the native people. This lead to the decline of the native population from 65,000 to 17,000 in the span of 60 years. The mission showed a decline after the collapse of the Great Stone Church during the earthquake in December of 1812. That same year, Mexico had gained it’s independence from Spain which meant more of a decline for the mission. After California became a state in 1850, a petition was sent to the government to have the missions returned to the Catholic Church which was approved. From the years 1870’s to the early 1900’s, there was a spike of interest by photographers and artists that lead to the restoration of the missions which we now get to visit and enjoy today.
For more history on the mission CLICK HERE
camera used: Sony a5000