Mission San Juan Capistrano
Surfing Heritage Foundation
Los Rios Historic District
One block southwest of the Mission, next to the Capistrano train depot, this peaceful assemblage of a few dozen historic cottages and...
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26801 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano · interesting places nearby
Mission San Juan Capistrano information
Plan on spending at least an hour poking around the sprawling mission’s tiled roofs, covered arches, lush gardens, fountains and courtyards – including the padre’s quarters, soldiers’ barracks and the cemetery. Particularly moving are the towering remains of the Great Stone Church , almost completely destroyed by a powerful earthquake on December 8, 1812. The Serra Chapel – whitewashed outside with restored frescoes inside – is believed to be the oldest existing building in California (1778). It’s certainly the only one still standing in which Junípero Serra gave Mass. Serra founded the mission on November 1, 1776, and tended it personally for many years.
Admission includes a worthwhile free audio tour with interesting stories narrated by locals. The Mission is at the corner of Camino Capistrano.