Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, California
I took a brief afternoon visit to the Mission San Juan Capistrano in downtown San Juan Capistrano just minutes south of I-5 at the terminus of the Ortega Highway. It was a visit well worth the modest $9.00 admission fee.
Mission San Juan Capistrano was a Spanish mission in Southern California, located in present-day San Juan Capistrano. It was founded on All Saints Day November 1, 1776, by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order. Named for Giovanni da Capistrano, a 15th century theologian and "warrior priest" who resided in the Abruzzo region of Italy, San Juan Capistrano has the distinction of being home to the oldest building in California still in use, a chapel built in 1782; known alternately as "Serra's Chapel" and "Father Serra's Church," it is the only extant structure where it has been documented that the padre Junipero Serra celebrated mass. One of the best known of the Alta California missions (and one of the few missions to have actually been founded twice—others being Mission San Gabriel Arcángel and Mission La Purísima Concepción)—the site was originally consecrated on October 30, 1775, by Father Fermín Lasuén, but was quickly abandoned due to unrest among the indigenous population in San Diego.