California Missions An Overview

By: Mark Lopes

The twenty-one missions in California and the history of the region is not unknown to those who live in the US. If you are someone who resides in California, you may also be just a few hours drive from these missions. They begin in San Diego and end in San Francisco. These missions talk of the arrival of Europeans to the land. They talk of the time when Spaniards were giving a hard time to the natives in their attempts to expand their region. The missions of California stand here as reminders of the good and the bad the arrival of the Europeans brought into the region.
An overview of California Missions
Know that all the twenty-one missions are situated either on Highway 101 or in the surrounding areas. The following is a description of some of them.
1. San Diego de Alcala
Here begins the renowned “mission trail” in California. The first among the establishments in the region, this started as an eight-foot hole with a huge cross in it. A church bell hanged on from a nearby tree. The attempts were that of Father Serra and his friends in the year 1769. At present, the site is a famous church. Masses are conducted every Sunday here. The site is a real feast for the eyes with Bougainvillea cascading onto the adobe walls of the building. The area also features the great cemetery in California and a beautiful garden cultivating olive trees, hibiscus etc.
2. San Juan Capistrano
This is the seventh among the twenty-one missions in the region. The site is named after Saint John of Capistrano, a crusader. Constructed in the shape of a cross, this church once boasted of seven bells and domes. Reports say that these were the tallest in the region; they could be seen ten miles away from the site. Unfortunately, the site was damaged almost beyond repair in the earthquake of 1812. The remainders are being preserved by the residents in the region.
3. San Gabriel Arcangel
The fourth among these missions, this was founded in the year 1871. The design resembles a fortress and is found in no other missions. It is located just nine miles to the east of Los Angeles. Reports say that the site covered hundreds and thousands of acres; almost half of the land of the entire region.
4. San Fernando Rey de Espana
This is the seventeenth among the missions and is named in honor of King Ferdinand III of Spain. The site was founded by Father Lasuen. The site is located in San Fernando Valley, twenty-five miles to the north of Los Angeles. This is the largest among the freestanding adobe in the entire California. It was used as a refuge for tired travelers from far and wide. The site gained back its original form and is now hosts a school, a church, a convento and a few workshops.
5. Mission San Luis Rey
King of the Missions – located at Oceanside, CA. Great place for group and individual retreats. Also, is one of the oldest San Diego cemeteries still in operation. Old Mission San Luis Rey’s museum’s collection includes artifacts from Native American, Spanish, Mission, Mexican Secularization and American Military periods.

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To get all fact you are interested visit Mission museum every day from 9.30 am, weekend from 10 am or at this link .

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