Mission San Jaun Bautista is the oldest building in San Benito County and was founded on 24 June 1797 by Father Lasuen, it is the 15th of the 21 California Missions. It is also the largest and only church that has 3 aisles. A monastery wing with 36 rooms was dedicated in 1812.
The mission has never been abandoned and is now the parish church of San Juan Bautista, it’s a lovely building.
Entry to the mission is through the gift shop, but we arrived before it opened and so we took a walk around the outside.
In 1957 the Mission and Plaza were used by Alfred Hitchcock during the filming of ‘Vertigo’, Kim Novak jumped from the bell tower in the film.
A nearby marker shows the route of the original El Camino Real, the ‘Kings Highway’ that connected the 21 California Missions, the road was in use from 1797 to about 1850.
Parts of El Camino Real became stagecoach routes and highways, at the start of the 20th century women’s clubs started to mark the old route with reproduction mission bells. In fact, I think there’s a bell near highway 101 just outside our RV park.
Now this is seriously scary marker, somewhere you really don’t want to be when the ‘big one’ strikes California, as this is the San Andreas Fault marker.
Although scientists think that the next ‘big one’ is more likely to be caused by the Calaveras Fault, running through downtown Hollister 10 miles away and the Hayward Fault, not exactly sure where that is. But even so…………
Once the gift shop opened, we paid the small entry fee and walked through into a shaded walkway.
This tallow cauldron from 1830 is among some of the artefacts on one side of the courtyard.
On the other side of the courtyard, is a garden with benches and some gorgeous roses,
including this gorgeously perfumed one.
Inside the church, the original fonts are still in use.
The mission church.
Mission San Juan was very interesting and is definitely worth a visit, we had a great time.
Have fun, we are!