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February 10, 2015 - It's been almost five years since we last visited the Mission in San Juan Capistrano, so we returned today to show it to our friends, Olga and Mark Farrell, who are visiting from the East Coast.

Mission San Juan Capistrano was the seventh of twenty-one missions to be founded in Alta California.  The missions were established to expand the territorial boundaries of Spain and to spread Christianity to the Native peoples of California.  They were essentially colonial outposts, led and protected by Franciscan padres and Spanish soldiers.

This statue depicts Father Serra, the founder of the California Mission system.

This is the Serra Chapel, reputed to be California's oldest building and the only church still standing where mission-founder Father Junipero Serra said Mass.

These are the remains of the Great Stone Church, destroyed by an earthquake in 1812.

It was a beautiful day made all the better since we were able to share it with Olga and Mark.  Judy and I always look forward to their visits here every year or two.

Before touring the Mission we all had lunch at the Cedar Creek Inn, located right next to the Mission.  The food and atmosphere was delightful as always.

Additional pictures of the Los Rios Neighborhood and the Basilica

More pictures of the Mission

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Last modified: September 27, 2017