First a hike, then a mission visit and then lunch; and all before noon. And in case you wish to visit here is a short recap: The San Juan Capistrano mission was founded in 1776, by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order and the area (San Juan Capistrano) has the honor of being the oldest building in California still in use, a chapel built-in 1782. And don’t forget the swallows who return every year.
The “Mission grape,” was first planted at San Juan Capistrano in 1779, and in 1783 the first wine produced in Alta California was from the Mission’s winery.
After 1850 U.S. statehood, numerous efforts were made over the latter 19th century to restore the Mission to its former state, but none achieved much success until 1910. Over 500,000 visitors, including 80,000 school children, come to the Mission each year. $9 per person to visit.
And while the ruins of “The Great Stone Church” (which was all but leveled by an 1812 earthquake) are a renowned architectural wonder, the Mission is perhaps best known for the annual “Return of the Swallows” which is traditionally observed every March 19 (Saint Joseph’s Day).
Mission San Juan Capistrano has served as a favorite subject for many notable artists, and has been immortalized in literature and on film numerous times, perhaps more than any other mission
This koi was begging to be fed!
A Filipino lemon tree.
Your table is now ready for lunch! Adios!