We did a trip up to San Juan Bautista a few weeks ago. It’s an interesting town with a ton and a half of history. San Juan Bautista literaly means Saint John the Baptist. It was thusly named by the franciscan friars who built the mission back in 1797, yep that’s 1797, it’s not a mistype. The mission was completed in about 1812 and has been occupied ever since.

Mission

We were lucky enough to wander around the mission grounds on a fairly quiet day. There weren’t a lot of tourists that day. We had actually gone there to check out a “Peddlers Fair” in the main town itself and decided to walk over a couple of blocks to check out the mission. What you don’t notice in the above picture is that to the right of the mission (North side) in this picture is a small cemetary with over 4000 (yes 4 thousand) unmarked graves of local native American Christians and Europeans.

Cemetery at San Juan Bautista

This is a shot of the cemetery. They must have stacked the people one on top of another to get over 4000 into this small an area, even giving them 200 years to do it.

Here is a picture of a statue of Friar Fermin de Lasuen, the friar who helped set up and create the 15 California missions including this one.

Friar Fermin de Lasuen

If you look in the background of this photo you will see the San Andreas Fault. It runs through the valley right behind the mission. You can’t actually see it, but it’s there. In fact the mission had to be rebuilt at one point because a large earthquick nocked it down. Oops.

Here’s a picture of the ladies taking a moments rest in the fairly cool outer walkway of the mission. Resting up for more adventures.
The ladies at the Mission taking a break

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