Copyright © 2010 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.
I took US 101 down to southern CA to visit my son. This route is the Historic El Camino Real, and the Mission trail. I visited 4 missions between June 25 and 28th. This is the second of my Mission stops.
San Juan Capistrano Mission
A close-up view of the majestic ruins of Mission San Juan Capistrano's "Great Stone Church," dubbed by architects the "American Acropolis" in reference to its classical Greco-Roman style. "The most important and pretentious building of the whole Mission period..." was modeled after the Byzantine cathedrals scattered throughout Europe and Western
Mission San Juan Capistrano has been the home to many people over 230 years of history. Its history consists of memories and stories of its past inhabitants and present visitors. It is a place of historical, cultural, and religious significance, as well as a place of inspiration and education.
The story begins in 1775, when Mission San Juan Capistrano was first founded by Father Lasuen, on October 19th. But just a few weeks after the party of padres and soldiers arrived, they received word of the revolt occurring in San Diego. The founding padres, and soldiers decided to leave San Juan Capistrano, and go back to San Diego to help there. Once things had settled in San Diego, Father Serra personally led a party to re-found Mission San Juan Capistrano on All Saint’s Day, November 1, 1776.
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. Unlike the British colonies on the East Coast of North America, who brought people from their homeland to form colonies, the Spanish believed they could transform the Native peoples into good Spanish citizens. The idea was to make colonial outposts called missions, led by Franciscan padres and Spanish soldiers. The missions would be a center of learning and training of Native peoples. The Spanish government and Catholic Church wanted to convert the people to Christianity, train them in Spanish or European lifestyle, so that the Native peoples would eventually live in towns and pay taxes, like good Spanish citizens.
In 1984, a modern church complex was constructed just north and west of the Mission compound; the design is patterned after the old stone church, and is twenty percent larger.
~Mission San Juan Capistrano