Visiting the Missions of California

The Mission in Sonoma

The Mission in Sonoma

I was not born in California, but spending time as a tour guide of this state and living here so many years I have been to some of the missions. I have been told that children learn about the missions in school, and I am looking forward to working on the projects with my kids associated with the missions (like building a replica).

Here is a little background on their history. The Spanish settled in California and their Franciscan leader, Father Junipero Serra, had the missions built throughout the state. The majority are built near the 101 Freeway (or the El Camino Real = “The King’s Highway” as the Spanish called the same path) which is in close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Missions are a type of church which also had living quarters and they were built between 1769 and 1823. They strategically placed them no more than 30 miles from each other so they could travel between them in one day. I won’t go into the politics of the missions but Fr. Serra and his group attempted to convert the locals to their religion, educate them, ‘civilize’ them, and make them Spanish citizens. Today most of the original structures are not intact but have been rebuilt and there are remnants of the original structures.

 

For the record here is a list of the missions and the year they were built:

1.Basilica San Diego de Alcala, 1769 (San Diego)
2. San Carlos Borreomeo, 1770 (Carmel)
3. San Antonio de Padua, 1771 (Jolon)
4. San Gabriel Arcangel, 1771 (San Gabriel)
5. San Luis Obispo, 1772 (San Luis Obispo)
6. San Francisco de Asis, 1776 (San Francisco)
7. San Juan Capistrano , 1776 (San Juan Capistrano)
8. Santa Clara de Asis, 1777 (Santa Clara)
9. San Buenaventura, 1782 (Ventura)
10. Santa Barbara, 1786 (Santa Barbara)
11. La Purisima Concepcion, 1787 (Lompac)
12. Santa Cruz, 1791 (Santa Cruz)
13. Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, 1791 (Soledad)
14. San Jose, 1777 (San Jose)
15. San Juan Bautista, 1797 (San Juan Bautista)
16. San Miguel Arcangel, 1797 (San Miguel)
17. San Fenando Rey de Espana, 1797 (San Fernando)
18. San Luis Rey de Francia, 1798 (Oceanside)
19. Santa Ines, 1804 (Solvang)
20. San Rafael Arcangel, 1817 (San Rafael)
21. San Francisco Solano de Sonoma, 1823 (Sonoma)

 

I have visited eight of the twenty one missions (highlighted on the list above). I am an adventurer and love to travel. Now that I have small children I have limited time and money to travel as much as I once did. Writing today’s blog has inspired me to want to travel to all the missions that I have not seen with my children. We have a big spring break trip coming up to the San Francisco Bay Area and the opportunity to visit many of these missions is possible with proper planning. When we visit I will be sure to update everyone with photos and information!!

The Santa Barbara Mission

The Santa Barbara Mission

(day 68)

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