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bit outdated today, since we took them in the late 90s and early 2000s.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.