Santa Barbara
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California missions

Santa Barbara
California missions

Santa Barbara

The twin bell towers of Old Mission Santa Barbara welcome visitors and parishioners alike to the chapel, which sits on a rise between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific. Known as the Queen of the Missions, Santa Barbara was founded by the Franciscans in 1786.

For more information, go to the mission’s church website or SantaBarbara.com(Mission Santa Barbara)
Mission Santa Ines
California missions

Santa Ines

The past and present meet at Solvang’s Old Mission Santa Ines, where one enters via a parking lot. The “Hidden Gem of California Missions” was established in 1804 to serve the Chumash Indians of the Santa Ynez Valley. Among other things, the mission houses a collection of elaborate vestments.

For more information, go to the mission’s website(Mission Santa Ines)
California missions: San Luis Obispo
California’s missions

San Luis Obispo

Statues of a bear and a youth greet visitors to Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. The mission, founded in 1772 by Friar Junipero Serra, offers fascinating glimpses into the ways of the Chumash Indians. (Randy Morse/Golden State Image)
California Missions: San Luis Obispo
California missions

San Luis Obispo

This babbling brook, spanned by a wooden bridge and set down below street level, is a stone’s throw from Mission San Luis Obispo. The mission, an active Roman Catholic parish, is set in a civic hub and adjacent to a quaint little shopping district. (Tracy Boucher / Los Angeles Times)
California Missions: San Luis Obispo
California missions

San Luis Obispo

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was named for Saint Louis, the bishop of Toulouse, France. An altar inside the mission features colorful walls. (Tracy Boucher / Los Angeles Times)
La Purisima
California missions

La Purisima

La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, which is run by the state, gives visitors an understanding of what it was like to live in old California. “When you go through the doors, it’s like going back in time,” one young visitor was heard to say. (La Purisima Mission)
California Missions: La Purisima
California missions

La Purisima

The state took over this land in 1934, and today its structures are a mix of the restored and the re-created -- all of it done in a fashion that makes you feel as if you are walking through an effective document of the past. (Tracy Boucher / Los Angeles Times)
California Missions: La Purisima
California missions

La Purisima

The grave of Father Mariano Payeras, who died at the Lompoc mission in 1823. (Tracy Boucher / Los Angeles Times)
California Missions: La Purisima
California Missions

La Purisima

The tour of the living quarters, workshops and barracks (pictured) gives the sense that life could be tedious, bare-boned and arduous but also close to the earth and, for true believers, close to their faith. (Tracy Boucher / Los Angeles Times)
California Missions: La Purisima
California mission

La Purisima

A statue inside La Purisima, one of three missions run by the state of California. Its visitors center presents a thoughtful and detailed history of the missions and utilizes models, maps and interactive exhibits to help the thousands of students who visit each year frame California’s history. The center is getting even more elaborate with additional exhibits expected to be done by September. (Tracy Boucher / Los Angeles Times)
California Missions: La Purisima
California missions

La Purisima

This mission, a state historic park, is home to Texas longhorns named Brea and Rojo. State parks interpreter Anne Boggess addresses about 20,000 fourth-graders on their quest to study the missions each year. (Tracy Boucher / Los Angeles Times)
Mission San Luis Rey
California missions

San Luis Rey

Franciscans founded Mission San Luis Rey in 1798 to serve a large Luiseño Indian population. This mission stands in Oceanside. (Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)
San Luis Rey
California missions

San Luis Rey

The mission in Oceanside, drawn by Henry Chapman Ford in 1883. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
San Miguel mission
California missions

San Miguel

This mission in San Miguel was founded in 1797 by Father Fermin Lasuen. The building suffered much damage in a 2003 earthquake, shutting the mission, which reopened after extensive restoration in 2006. The altar, pictured, is the focal point of the church. (Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times)
San Miguel
California missions

San Miguel

The inside of the mission has never been repainted, according to the mission’s website. The pictures and the colors are original. (Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times)
San Carlos Borromeo in Carmel
California missions

San Carlos Borromeo

This mission in Carmel was founded by Father Junipero Serra near Monterey Bay. According to the mission’s website, Father Serra moved the site from Monterey to the entrance to the Carmel Valley. (Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times)
Carmel
California missions

San Carlos Borromeo

A photo contact printed from a glass negative showing the mission in the 1920s. ()
San Carlos Borromeo
California missions

San Carlos Borromeo

The exterior of the mission in Carmel. (Hanne-Boe Wangoe)
San Carlos Borromeo
California missions

San Carlos Borromeo

The stone carving of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the first non-indigenous sculptures created in California. (Robert Durell / Los Angeles Times)
San Juan Capistrano
California missions

San Juan Capistrano

This mission was founded in 1776. This is the site also known for the return of the swallows, which purportedly reappear each March on their migration route. Go to the mission’s website for more history. (Karen Tapia-Andersen / Los Angeles Times)
San Juan Capistrano
California missions

San Juan Capistrano

The $2-million, four-story altarpiece was paid for by a Newport woman’s estate and by a San Juan Capistrano couple. (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)
San Juan Capistrano
California missions

San Juan Capistrano

Filiberto Ramirez and Jose Louis Yanez play their guitars and sing in the courtyard at Mission San Juan Capistrano during the traditional Return of the Swallows day at the mission last year. This year’s festival is Saturday, March 15. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Santa Clara
California missions

Santa Clara

The restored church of Mission Santa Clara de Asis sits on the grounds of Santa Clara University, the oldest college in California. The mission dates to 1777. (Randi Lynn Beach)
Santa Clara
California missions

Santa Clara

The church has been restored many times, the last time in 1928. It serves as the university’s chapel. (Randi Lynn Beach)
San Buenaventura
California missions

San Buenaventura

This old, hand-colored photograph shows Fernando Librado, a Chumash Indian who was born at the mission in Ventura in 1839. He detailed daily life and the the floor plan of the Ventura mission. His parents came from Santa Cruz Island, and his Chumash name was Kitsepawit. (Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History)
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