California's Missions

California's missions are some of the few things we Europeans would consider to be history in los Estados Unidos. This is simply because there is not much old stuff left. In 1769 the Spanish missionary Junípero Serra undertook a land expedition north of Baja California to christianize and "civilize" the Indians of California. It was mostly the Indians who built the missions and cultivated the land under the direction of the Spanish overseers. In the past 200 years many of the missions had been destroyed by fires, earthquakes and other causes. However, today, most of them have been restored or rebuilt and can be visited.

It took me a few years of return trips to California to visit all the missions.  Of course the pictures are a bit outdated today, since we took them in the late 90s and early 2000s.

Roll over the map to select a mission.


Start with Mission No.1


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