U. S. Mission Trail / The Mission Trail Today - The Spanish Missions in California
Slide Show This site is owned, designed, and operated by Kenneth A. Larson who has over a quarter century of experience in design and construction of scenery for the Entertainment Industry and Theme Parks using Computer Aided and Traditional approaches to Design. Ken also has experience in other areas of Design.
Select photographs of my many visits to The Missions of the United States South and Southwest built by Spain and Mexico between 1565 and 1823.
All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2008 - 2013.

Explanation.

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#15, San Juan Bautista

Founded June 24, 1797
by Father Fermin Lasuen.
San Juan Bautista.


Personal Observations

I visited this mission for the first time on July 26, 2003 with my wife and her parents and brother. Mission San Juan Bautista is adjacent to San Jaun Bautista State Historic Park which includes later American constructions. The later buildings include a hotel and livery stable with old wagons and blacksmith equipment. The town of San Juan Bautista is quaint with antique shops and boutiques. While visiting some missions, we spend only an hour or two, we spent most of the afternoon in the town San Jaun Bautista, including the mission, state pank, and shops.

I visited again on a rainy Christmas Day while my wife waited in the car. I had only a few minutes to capture images of the mission in the rain. We have returned several times and attended Mass in July 2009.

The church is about 100 feet from the famous San Andreas Fault with a steep bank leading to the fields below.
Photo-Art
Mission Art & Photo-Art

History

Mission San Juan Bautista was founded on June 24, 1797 by Father Fermin Lasuen only 13 days after the founding of Mission San Jose and a month before founding Mission San Miguel.

The San Juan Bautista Mission church is located about one hundred feet from the San Andreas Fault which tears through most of California and has played havoc on all of the missions during their over two hundred year history. There are many accounts of earthquakes at San Juan Bautista. The entire month of October 1798 was so turbulent that the staff slept outside as earthquakes struck as often as six times a day causing damage to the buildings. With the population increasing, plans were already progressing to build a larger church when an earthquake destroyed the church in 1803. Other earthquakes struck the mission including the famous San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and as recently as 2004.

Following the 1803 earthquake, a new three aisle church was built. Because most churches were long and narrow and this church was wide, there was concern that the church could withstand an earthquake. To strengthen the building, all except the first pair of arches were closed. The interiors were painted by Thomas Doak, a Boston Sailor who jumped ship in Monterey and became the first Anglo-American resident in California. He was not the best artist, but he worked for room and board and his mixed paints still endure today.

The mission was attended by many missionaries. Father Arroyo could preach in seven native dialects and wrote a dictionary of native languages. Father Tapis created a system of color coded music which was easier for the native people to follow.

Following secularization in 1835, the church continued serving as a parish. The church suffered some damage from the 1906 earthquake but was repaired. A new bell tower was built, but not in the mission style. In 1949, the Hearst Foundation financed the restoration which returned the mission to it's original appearance.

more pending

Address and Directions

2nd & Mariposa Sts.
San Juan Bautista, CA 95045-1164

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1164
San Juan Bautista, CA 95045-1164

Exit US Highway 101 at California State Highway 156 (Hollister). After about two miles, left at the sign then make an immediate right onto Muchelemi Street. Follow into town. When the street ends, turn right on Second Street. The mission is on the left. San Juan Bautista is a few miles off Highway 101 about ten miles south of Gilroy. An El Camino Real Bell can be found at Monterey Street and Third Street where there is also a small museum.
Map 1 Map 2

Photography Gallery

Chapel and Bells
Chapel and bell tower. 7-26-03.
Main Chapel
Main church. Only 3 aisle mission church. 7-26-03.
Mission San Juan Bautista
Mission San Juan Bautista. 7-26-03.
Mission Church and Statue
Mission Church and Statue. Photo date: 12-25-03.

Mission.
Bell Tower
Bell Tower. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Bell Tower
Bell Tower. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Bell Tower
Bell Tower. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Bell Tower
Bell Tower. Photo date: 5-29-04.

Photo date: 5-29-04.

Bell tower from cemetery.







Chapel and Bells
Chapel and bell tower. There is a story that Alfred Hitchcock came to this mission to use the bell tower for his Motion Picture Vertigo. When he arrived, he discovered that the second bell tower of which he had seen photos, had been replaced by a restoration of the original bell tower. He then had a bell tower constructed back in Hollywood. 7-26-03.
Stairs
Stairway to bell tower. 7-26-03.
Church.
Bell Tower
Back side of bell tower. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Bell Tower
Back side of bell tower. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Church from below, near the San Andreas Fault.
Buttress
Buttress. 7-26-03.

















Loking back.

Loft.

Baptismal.



Altar.

Pulpit.

Stair to pulpit in side aisle.



Side altar.
Main Chapel
Prayer candles in Main Chapel. 7-26-03.
Main Chapel
Stations of the cross in Main Chapel. 7-26-03.
Church Interior
Church interior. Photo date: 5-29-04.









Statue
Statue. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Statue
Statue. Photo date: 5-29-04.







Smaller Chapel
Smaller chapel. 7-26-03.
Light Fixture
Light fixture. 7-26-03.
Window
This window design in common to several missions. See a similar door at San Fernando Rey de España Mission. This is in the smaller chapel. 7-26-03.
Mission San Juan Bautista
Entrance to Mission San Juan Bautista and Colonnade. 7-26-03.
Colonnade
Colonnade. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Colonnade
Colonnade, one side of the Quadrangle. Photo date: 12-25-03.



Mission Bell
Mission bell in the garden. 7-26-03.

Garden
Garden. 7-26-03.
Garden
Garden. 7-26-03.
Small bell on a frame in the garden in the Quadrangle.
A small metal framed gazebo in the garden in the Quadrangle.
Statues in the garden in the Quadrangle.




Corbel
Corbel. 7-26-03.
Mission from a Distance
Mission from a distance from northeast. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Mission Through Trees
Mission through trees from east. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Mission from a Distance
Mission from a distance from east. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Mission from a Distance
Mission from a distance from east. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Retaining Wall
Retaining wall northeast of Mission Church. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Retaining Wall
Retaining wall northeast of Mission Church. Photo date: 5-29-04.
Retaining Wall
Retaining wall northeast of Mission Church. Photo date: 5-29-04.








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This page last updated: Sunday, 11-Aug-2013 02:31:33 EDT
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