Mission San Fernando Rey de España
15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd., San Fernando, CA, USA
Mission San Fernando Rey de España Reviews
Discovering Old California at Mission San Fernando Oct 25, 2010
Misión San Fernando Rey de España was the 17th California mission founded by the Franciscans. The mission was founded on September 8, 1797, by Fr. Fermin Francisco de Lasuén, an associate of Junipero Serra. The mission was named for St. Ferdinand, King of Spain (1217-1252). The San Fernando Valley takes its name from the mission.
The missions, pueblos, and ranchos of Old California were part of Spain's efforts to colonize Alta California in the 18th century. Mission San Fernando served as a church for a large area and as a farm and ranch. The mission was largely self-sufficient, raising its own crops and cattle and manufacturing its own tools and implements. The Franciscan fathers also sought to convert the Tongva Indian people and instruct them in Spanish farming and ranching techniques.
San Fernando today is an active parish church. But, an excellent museum and displays in the former Workshop building give one a picture of life in Spanish California. Displays show both mission and rancho daily life. Reconstructions of the blacksmith shop, weaving looms, and saddlery show the typical industries of the mission. The church building, first completed in 1806, has been damaged by earthquakes and rebuilt several times. The most recent rebuilding was in 1971 after the Sylmar Earthquake. It retains its 18th century look and feel, however. The altar is amazing and takes one by surprise. One would never think to look at the rather plain exterior that you would find a 16th century Spanish altar inside. The central figure is a wooden carving of San Fernando, presented to the mission by the King of Spain at its founding.
The most notable structure on the grounds is the Convento with its twenty-one arches and tile roof. Completed in 1822, the Convento typifies California Mission architecture which later inspired the Mission Revival style.
Admission is $5. A self-guided tour leaflet is provided.
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