U. S. Mission Trail / The Mission Trail Today - The Spanish Missions in California
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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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#10, Santa Barbara Virgin y Martir

Founded December 4, 1786
by Father Fermin Lasuen.
Santa Barbara.


Personal Observations

I have visited this mission a number of times. While still dating my wife, we viisted on July 30, 2001. Prior to that, I had visited two or three times with my parents.

On September 14, 2003, my wife and I visited Santa Barbara Mission in part because the lighting was bad the previous time. What I hadn't
Photo-Art
Photo-Art
expected was there would be Sunday Mass parking in front of the church. I did my best to photograph around the cars. We went on to Santa Ines Mission and returned in the afternoon. We also visited the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens a few miles north to photograph the dam that once provided water to the mission. This is when my professional camera died and I took the rest of the photos with my instamatic. I began exploring across the street from the mission and discovered the Mission Park which included the ruins of about 7 constructions and part of the aqueduct.

We visited again on May 15, 2004 and and June 26, 2004. In this May visit, we also visited the Presidio and other historic sites and hope to include this material soon. We visited again for short periods several more times.

History

Mission Santa Barbara was founded on the feast day of Saint Barbara, December 4, 1786. Mission Santa Barbara was the tenth missions established and the first by Padre Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, following the death of Padre Junipero Serra two years earlier. Mission Santa Barbara is often referred to as the Queen of the Missions.

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the Chumash settled the coastal region from Malibu to San Luis Obispo.

Three adobe churches were built in succession, each larger than the preceding. Following the destruction of the third church in 1812, a new stone church was dedicated in 1820. This stone church still stands and is in regular use. In June of 1925, an earthquake caused a partial collapse to both bell towers. It was quickly repaired but the mortar was faulty and the towers were rebuilt again in 1950. Santa Barbara is the first cathedral in California. Because only a cathedral was allowed to have two matching towers, it is the only mission with two matching bell towers. The current church is one of only three stone mission churches in California. Other stone churches are at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo and Mission San Juan Capistrano.

The friary residence began as a one story building. A second story was later added and was finished in 1870. The fountain was built in 1808.

Like all the missions, Santa Barbara was an agricultural center. Products included wheat, barley, corn, peas, oranges, olives, and grapes. Animals raised included cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, mules, and horses. In 1809, the mission recorded 5,200 head of cattle and recorded 11,221 head of sheep in 1803. Water was provided by two dames north of the mission, built in 1807.

Mission Santa Barbara was secularized in 1834 along with the rest of the missions and jurisdiction over the Indians was transferred to civil authorities. Two years later, the Governor confiscated the mission lands and sold the mission in 1846. The missionaries were allowed to continue conducting services. In 1865, the mission was returned to the Catholic Church by President Abraham Lincoln.

The Franciscans used the mission for a high school and junior college from 1868 to 1877. A seminary opened in 1896 and the Franciscan Provence of Santa Barbara School of Theology resided at the Mission until the summer of 1968. The Mission has been in continuous use as a Catholic church since its founding and masses are celebrated regularly.

The Mission is now open to the public with masses celebrated regularly in the church. The mission includes a museum and just to the north in Mission Park, ruins of out buildings can be explored.

Address and Directions

2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Exit Highway 101at Mission Street. Follow Mission Street to Laguna Street and turn left onto Laguna Street. Proceed to mission.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: (where the mission dam is located)
1212 Mission Canyon Road
Santa Barbara, CA

To get to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden to see the dam, exit the mission parking lot and turn left onto Los Olivos and follow it counter-clockwise around the front of the mission. Follow Los Olivos through it curves and a name change to Mission Canyon Road and follow to Foothill Road. Turn right and then after a few blocks, turn left back onto Mission Canyon Road. Follow to the Gardens. Be carefull and watch the signs, it gets confusing. We got lost returning once.

Photography Gallery

Church Exterior
Church Exterior. Photo date: 5-15-04.
Church Interior
Church Interior. Photo date: 5-15-04.
Santa Barbara
Mission
Main Page
Grounds
Grounds
Southeast Facade
Southeast Facade
Church
Church
Other Buildings
Other Buildings
Exhibits
Exhibits
Quadrangle
Quadrangle
Cemetery
Cemetery
Mission Park
Mission Park
Mission Dam
Mission Dam

Sources:

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This page last updated: Sunday, 11-Aug-2013 02:37:28 EDT
Note:This is not the official site for any of the places shown in US Mission Trail. US Mission Trail is not responsible for accuracy of the information. Hours of operations, prices, and exhibits are subject to change without notice.

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