Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, Oceanside, California
Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is a former Spanish mission in the present-day city of Oceanside, California. The mission was founded on June 13, 1798 by Padre Fermín Lasuén, and was the eighteenth of the Spanish missions established in California. Named for Saint Louis, the mission lent its name to the Luiseño tribe of Mission Indians.
The current church, built in 1811, is the third church on this location. It is a National Historic Landmark, for its pristine example of a Spanish mission church complex. Today the mission complex functions as a parish church of the Diocese of San Diego as well as a museum and retreat center.
The first non-natives to see the mission site were members of the 1769 Portola expedition. Padre Juan Crespi noted in his diary on July 18 that it would be a good spot for future establishment of a mission. He named the place "San Juan Capistrano", but that name was used instead for the mission founded further north in 1776.
At its prime, Mission San Luis Rey's structures and services compound covered almost 950,400 acres (3.846×109 m2), making it one of the largest of the missions, along with its surrounding agricultural land.
Today, Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is a working mission, cared for by the people who belong to the parish, with ongoing restoration projects. Mission San Luis Rey has a Museum, Visitors Center, gardens with the historic Pepper Tree, and the original small cemetery.