Mission of San Juan Capistrano

Mission of San Juan Capistrano |  Orange County, California | Mission San Juan Capistrano, historic landmark and museum is the Birthplace of Orange County, was founded more than two hundred years ago as the 7th of 21 missions statewide, and one with a chapel still standing where Fr. Serra once celebrated Mass. Only a one hour and twenty minutes driving from Los Angeles and West Hollywood, Capistrano is worth a visit. A different experience from what people would expect when coming to Los Angeles. The Mission is a registered Historic Landmark & designated a National Historical Treasure.
The minute you arrive to Capistrano, you will say to yourself … What am I doing here ? This is a tourist trap… and that was my first impression when I got there, almost getting to the point of turning back to Los Angeles without stopping. But then I said, let’s give it a try and indeed was worth it. (wont take you more than 2 hours and USD 9 per person). Capistrano, today is a monument to California’s multi-cultural history, embracing its Native American, Spanish, Mexican and European heritage. Originally built as a self sufficient community by Spanish Padres and Native Americans, the Mission was a center for agriculture, industry, education and religion.
General Facts: The Mission San Juan Capistrano is located at the Corner of Ortega Highway & Camino Capistrano. Founded by Father Fermin de Lasuen and Father Junipero Serra. Original from October 30, 1775  (by Lasuen) and refounded in November 1, 1776 (by Serra). Named after St. John of Capistrano, Italy, a theologian and inquisitor of the 14th century.
One of the most important highlights of this Mission is the Great Stone Church begun 1796; competed 1806; destroyed by earthquake 1812. The church of which today still remain the ruins, had the shape of a gigantic cross. Mission secularized 1833, sold 1845, and returned to Church 1865.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, became the seventh of twenty-one missions to be founded in Alta California. Like the previous six missions, San Juan Capistrano was established to expand the territorial boundaries of Spain, and to spread Christianity to the Native peoples of California.

The impressive golden altar, a gift of the late Archbishop Cantwell of Los Angeles who had received it from Spain in 1906, and other decorations were acquired during the course of reconstruction. Of particular interest is the fact that the little church at Capistrano is the only existing structure in which Father Junípero Serra is known to have said Mass.
Once the visitor enters the mission grounds, he finds paths that seem to lead everywhere. To the right is the ruin of the great stone church. A stretch of wall and a single dome remain but they are more than enough to give evidence of the builder’s skill.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, became the seventh of twenty-one missions to be founded in Alta California. Like the previous six missions, San Juan Capistrano was established to expand the territorial boundaries of Spain, and to spread Christianity to the Native peoples of California.
Immediately when I read about Capistrano, I felt a intense interest and attraction, that was telling me to come and visit. Later on I found out the connection between myself and the Mission. Capistrano is visited every year by this birds called Swallows. The miracle of the “Swallows” of Capistrano takes place each year at the Mission San Juan Capistano, on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day. As the little birds wing their way back to the most famous Mission in California, the village of San Juan Capistrano takes on a fiesta air and the visitors from all parts of the world, and all walks of life, gather in great numbers to witness the “miracle” of the return of the swallows.
Now you may be asking your self, where is the connection.? Well the Swallows fly every single year from Goya in Argentina all the way up to Capistrano in a journey of 15.000 miles. There you go… well despite I am also from Argentina, this time I just flew 5 hours from New York City on JetBlue
Capistrano is a fusion among Native American, Mexican and Spanish heritage, away from the glitz and hussle of Hollywood. Please next time you are in Los Angeles or Orange County, take your time to explore Capistrano. It is worth the visit and once you are done, it is surrounded by small charming mexican restaurants to enjoy an outdoors lunch.

(*) For the general information and mass schedules at Mission San Juan Capistrano Basilica and Serra Chapel do not hesitate to visit their official website |  www.missionsjc.com

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carlosmelia

Carlos Melia global bespoke Travel Agent, Travel Blogger, Concierge, Hospitality Consultant and Wedding Planner. Member of VIRTUOSO. Has earned, after over 25 years of Mainstream and Gay Travel experience, the mote of "Little Marco Polo". Jetsetter, bon vivant curates the world of luxury travel & lifestyle by experience, one destination at the time. Associated to First in Service Travel and Tzell Travel Network. Founder of LGTNetwork - Luxury Gay Travel Network. Follow, read and share my travel experiences worldwide at www.carlosmelia.com

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