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Mission San Juan Bautista, San Juan Bautista

#72 of 262 in Historic Sites in California
Mission State Park
Mission San Juan Bautista is a Spanish mission in San Juan Bautista, San Benito County, California. Founded on June 24, 1797 by Fermín Lasuén of the Franciscan order, the mission was the fifteenth of the Spanish missions established in present-day California. Named for Saint John the Baptist, the mission is the namesake of the city of San Juan Bautista.Barracks for the soldiers, a nunnery, the Jose Castro House, and other buildings were constructed around a large grassy plaza in front of the church and can be seen today in their original form. The Ohlone, the original residents of the valley, were brought to live at the mission and baptized, followed by Yokuts from the Central Valley. Mission San Juan Bautista has served mass daily since 1797, and today functions as a parish church of the Diocese of Monterey.HistoryFollowing its creation in 1797, San Juan's population grew quickly. By 1803, there were 1,036 Native Americans living at the mission. Ranching and farming activity had moved apace, with 1,036 cattle, 4,600 sheep, 22 swine, 540 horses and 8 mules counted that year. At the same time, the harvest of wheat, barley and corn was estimated at 2,018 fanegas, each of about 220 pounds.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
210 reviews
  • The most amazing place to visit. Loved the antique shops, the restaurants, visiting the oldest church & ruines. Could easily live there  more »
  • This is the largest and I think the best preserved of the Spanish California Missions. I have visited here many times in the past but it never disappoints. If you are interested in California history,...  more »
  • We found the mission well maintained. Enjoyed walking around the different areas and buildings. The mission staff that we saw were friendly and helpful. Would recommend at least an hour to tour, proba...  more »
  • Always loved this place. As a kid, I had been on several field trips here. Never gets old for me. So much history here.
  • Great Mission to visit. Great views near the church entrance and many things to see in the Museum.
  • Great mission. The garden is not as beaurifully msintained as Mission San Carlos in Carmel.
  • Beautiful Mission and the town is so cute. Also has museums that are interesting.
  • Hitchock fans should make the effort to stop here. This is the mission featured at the climatic finale of Vertigo

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