Our visit to Southern California included a tour of the Mission at San Juan Capistrano. The Mission was founded in 1776.
To accommodate the growing population a large stone church was built at the site. Sadly the church was destroyed in an earthquake in December of 1812 but the bells from the church survived and were placed in a wall nearby. The Mission bells are still rung on special occasions.
|Example of a processed hide bearing the San Juan Capistrano brand|
|Each Mission had its own cattle brand|
|Tallow rendering pot (note the interesting design on the door)|
The Mission grounds are lovely and the audio tour was interesting and informative. Anyone who is interested in the history of the Missions or California history in general won't be disappointed. Of course the Mission at San Juan Capistrano is most known for the swallows that return to it each spring. Around March 19th (St. Joseph's Day) the swallows return from their winter homes 2000 miles away. While the event has diminished a bit over time the swallows still return each year.
If your plans include a visit to the area I would highly recommend that you check out the Mission and the surrounding community. Also pay a visit to Los Rios Historic District, the oldest neighborhood in California.
We only just scratched the surface of the area that we visited in California. We had a great time and hopefully will be able to return.