Redcliffe Pier

Monday, June 11, 2012

ON A MISSION



                         California Missions

While in San Luis Obispo we visited the mission. I loved the old Spanish architecture and I became interested in the history of the California missions.

Between 1796 and 1823 the Spanish catholics of the Franciscan Order established 21 missions along the Californian coast from San Diego in the south to Sonoma in the north.  Each mission was a days trip apart, on horseback. The idea was to convert the native indians to Christianity.

When Mexico gained independence they shut down the missions and sold them privately. Later the US government gave the missions back to the catholic church. The missions  have been restored and they are among the states oldest buildings and are the most visited historic structures.

San Luis Obispo De Tolosa was completed in 1794. It occupies a whole block in the downtown area. After it was closed down it was owned by the Mexican government. Now it is a parish church.




A week later we were in Sonoma near San Francisco and I visited the mission there.
San Francisco Solano de Sonoma is the most northern mission. It was the only mission established after Mexico gained independence. It was used to protect Mexican land against Russian influence.

It was badly damaged in the earthquake. Today it has been restored and it is part of Sonoma State Historic Park. 


23 comments:

  1. They are certainly different in style to western style grand churches.

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  2. very interesting post. the missions have a very rich history. great photos Diane.

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  3. Such beautiful architecture that really suits the warm climate. The flowers on the internal walls are lovely - a darn sight better than suffering saints!

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  4. Very interesting from an historic aspect.
    The Spanish missionaries built their monastaries/churches depending on the climatic conditions of the areas.
    It is incredible to stop and think, how these churches were built so long ago in foreign places. Obviously to be a monk, besides the priestly duties, you had to have architectural expertise.
    It is good to see that they are now so still well preserved.
    Great report, Diane.
    Cheers
    Colin (HB)

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  5. As someone who deserves a sickness benefit because of an unhealthy obsession with visiting churches everywhere I go, I thank you profusely for these wonderful posts!

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  6. these are beautiful, information here i did not know about. great photos of these wonderful and beautiful historical churches. i love the Spanish look and that first one is awesome with those bells. i like the shot of the door. beautiful.

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  7. Beautiful photos of the missions. I love the colourful and decorative walls in the parish church.

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  8. Beautiful, I love touring with you!

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  9. I really enjoyed seeing these Mission pictures. I love the bright painted designs on the walls, and the wood beamed ceilings!

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  10. Thank you for such an interesting and well done post. I learned a lot and love your photos. It is great to tour with you - in the USA and in Australia! From VA, USA

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    1. Thank you for your comments, who ever you are.

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  11. The old missions are fun to visit and I, too, love the old Spanish architecture. Every school child in California learns about them as part of our heritage/history. I've seen a handful of them down in the San Diego area where I grew up.

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  12. Diane, these missions and churches are beautiful. I love the Spanish architecture and the lovely paintings inside. Beautiful photos. Have a great day!

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  13. I've read quite a bit about the Spanish missions and would dearly love to visit at least one of them. But I've never made it to California, so I really appreciate your photos and the history you've given. I'm definitely glad these missions have been preserved.

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  14. Very interesting, Diane. I love history --and have read about the Spanish Missions. Would love to visit some of them sometime. I have always loved visiting old churches in different areas of our country. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  15. The missions are so beautiful and their history is fascinating. I have visited the one in Sonoma and would like to see more of the ones farther south.

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  16. Great to see your photos of a mission and the church, so very different to ours.

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  17. What a beautiful place and fascinating history to go with it. I love that wall with the birds and flowers. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  18. We visited 9 missions while traveling through CA and enjoyed each and every one for its historical component.

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  19. Lovely place with some great details!

    Regarding your question: the tomb is behing the bronze grill, inside the mosque.

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  20. The buildings are so beautiful. I love the intricate painting on the walls. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Have you been to New Norcia in Western Australia? The buildings photographed for your post are so similar!!. New Norcia was founded by a group of monks from spain. It is a traveller's mission so accommodation there is relatively cheap. The food and the olive oil is to die for.

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