Saturday, April 2, 2016

3/30 San Juan Capistrano, CA

The last time I was here was when I was 14, which is a very, very long time ago.  I wanted to come back, and since I had friends in this area I wanted to visit, I decided this would be a good time.  And, I lucked out because the weather was perfect--just enough warmer than it was in San Diego to make pleasant sightseeing.  Not a very imposing entrance.

But really beautiful gardens inside!! 

Some rooms showing living conditions for the people who lived at the mission.


And more gardens.

This is a small chapel off the main part of the original church.

 This is the main part of the church.  I was told the width was always the same, but it was originally only about half this long, but was added onto as the number of worshipers increased.

Incredibly ornate wood carving and gold leaf work.

This is looking back towards the entrance where you can see an organ.

A small vegetable garden and work area.

These large pots were for rendering animal fats.

I had to wait until the five busloads of kids left before I could take a photo of the courtyard!  Previously, it had been occupied with kids.

This is a pit where wine was fermented.  Inside the building there pits in the floor for crushing the grapes by stomping on them.  As the juice is released, it ran through a hold in the wall into this one of two fermentation pits.  They are pretty big, so they must have made a LOT of wine!

A small oven of some sort.  Maybe baking??

These are the ruins of the second church built at the mission.  You can tell it was much larger.  I was told it was destroyed in the 1812 earthquake, which made me immediately think of the one in New Madrid, MO, that was 7.5 in magnitude, but this was the Capistrano earthquake along the San Andreas fault that occurred just a few months later.  It was 6.9 in magnitude.   Interesting to have two such huge earthquakes so close together.

I am guessing this church was destroyed while the older one survived because it was so much bigger. 

And this is the third church built at the San Juan Capistrano Mission and the one that is used today.  

The one thing I did not see here this day was any swallows.  Apparently, when several parts of the historical parts of the mission were stabilized a few years ago, nests were disturbed, so the swallows made their nests elsewhere.  Now they are playing swallow mating calls and have constructed this nesting area with the hopes of luring them back.  Check this out: 

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