Mission San Juan Bautista

We were driving home from our little Monterey get-away when I suggested that we keep an eye on the sign to any other Missions around this area. Luckily, we set out for home early enough to accommodate a side trip to any mission, that was no chance, we planned for a side trip, should e find out.

Luckily, my memory was spot on. There was a Mission around these parts and when the road sign to Mission San Juan Bautista came, we took the exit.

Unfortunately, the little drizzle that accompanied our drive on the freeway turned into major downpour when we entered the town. Easily we found the Mission. It was in in what appears to be a town square. I shall not show you the other buildings that form the square, only the Mission.

This mission is the only mission with 3 naves and the widest of all the mission churches of California. Among the largest of all missions at 190 feet long, Mission San Juan Bautista is directly over the San Andreas fault, but due to relatively careful construction, important parts have survived. After the 1906 earthquake, it was rebuilt with steel, reinforced concrete and heavy cross-bracing so that is considered safer now than ever before.


1797 - June 24, founded by Lasuen, 15th mission. Named for John the Baptist.

1798 - First church completed.

1803 - Second present church begun.

1812 - Dedicated.

1835 - Secularized.

1859 - Ground returned to church.

1906 - Damaged by earthquake.

1949 - Restored, financed by Hearst Foundation.

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Shooting under an umbrella. Hubs and I took turns taking pictures and holding the umbrella.

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Middle nave - main altar.
Left nave, did not get a good shot of the right nave.

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Log of births and deaths.
A pit on the floor where people throw donations for the mission.
Couldn't get out to the cemetery because it was pouring.
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And the resident cat needed to get inside the gift shop, what is it about cats and gift shops?

We strolled around the garden in pouring rain and took these shots.


  1. looks quite new on the outside but full of history on the inside. needs to be preserved for sure

  2. Nice framing on the exterior shots resulting in fine compositions. The rain didn't hurt those at all. Inside shots are very nice with excellent exposures and details. The rain-covered flowers look great too. It was obviously a very worthwhile stop for you.

  3. Wonderful post of a very special place.
    Your pictures did turn very well.
    Love the rich interior of the church.
    The rain does add some of the beauty of the flowers, I know... I rather have sun too, however sometimes we have to be thankful to be even there and to be able to take pictures at all.
    Hartelijke groeten (warm regards)

  4. Amazing photos, Maria. I love that cat!!!

  5. Incredible influence of catholic religion in those old towns. Excelente documentary.



    Barcelona Daily Photo

  6. Worldwide pala ang St John the Baptist day. Amazing! June24 din dito ang basaan! ^_^

  7. Wonderful sequence about Mission San Juan Bautista: better than a video!

  8. In spite of the rain...or because of the rain! Beautiful images, Maria. You have really whetted my appetite to visit all the missions in California, though I doubt that will ever happen now. I love seeing them through your eyes. I especially like the statue with all the cross necklaces!

  9. Amazing how they preserved it..:)

  10. oh, such a scenic spot and very peaceful.
    the place looks a bit deserted but i like how old and well preserved the place feels.
    esp love the colonnade arches inside and outside of the church.
    what a good find! ^0^

  11. So many hints of Philippine and Spanish culture!

  12. What an incredible mission and great shots. I especially love the second one, looking through the row of arches.

  13. I'm enjoying visiting the missions with you. It's fortunate that there are people who care enough to work to preserve these places.

    I don't know what it is about cats and gift shops either, but I bet having one increases sales!

  14. Love those arches! At least even with the rain - and an umbrella to keep your gear dry :) - you still captured the beauty of this mission.


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