The Old Mission San Juan Bautista
406 Second Street, San Juan Bautista, CA, USA
www.oldmissionjb.org - Gift Shop/Tours - 831.623.4528
The Old Mission San Juan Bautista Reviews
The largest of the Franciscan missions. Apr 18, 2012
The fifteenth of twenty-one missions built along the “El Camino Real” between San Diego and San Francisco by the Franciscan order, is the largest and named after John the Baptist. Each was approximately one day’s horseback ride apart. It was founded June 24, 1797, and it has served mass daily since then.
Barracks for the soldiers, a nunnery, and several other buildings were built around the large grassy area in front of the mission and nearly everyone remains today. In the center, open area is a very nice garden.
The mission sits adjacent to the San Andreas Fault, and has suffered damage from numerous earthquakes, such as those of 1800 and 1906. However, the mission was never entirely destroyed. It was restored initially in 1884, and then again in 1949, and new bell tower was built in 2010.
The mission is mostly a museum at this point and self-guided tours are available at a very inexpensive price. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase several small items which also are very low in price. One of the souvenirs is a small hand-painted copy of each of the 21 missions.
The main sanctuary still serves mass on a daily basis. And the burial grounds behind the mission number 2,835.
The Jose Castro House, now known as the Castro-Breen Adobe, was built in 1840 and sits across the street. Castro was Commandant General of Alta, California. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1970 and is part of the San Juan Bautista Plaza Historic District, which is itself a National Historic Landmark District, and has been open to the public since 1935.
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Gorgeous Mar 23, 2008
The Old Mission at San Juan Bautista is simply gorgeous. Of all of the missions that I have visited it's one of my favorites due to it's surroundings. The Old Mission is surrounded on all sides by the old town of San Juan Bautista and the expansive agricultural fields which only adds to the atmosphere and old time feel. You can imagine what life would have been like for those living in and near the mission in the early days. Though most of the buildings around it date to a much later period than the Mission it does not diminish the feel. It is one of the few missions that feels peaceful and joyous since it’s still a living a breathing center for the community. Services are regularly held in the chapel and children are frequently running around the grassy area outside. It’s truly beautiful.
Part of the Monterey in the Spring! travel blog