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23 July 2024
Mission San Juan Capistrano.

I went to Mission San Juan Capistrano with my mum and dad as a teenager, and I loved the gardens and the bells on the walls. 

Mission San Juan Capistrano.

On this escorted tour, we stopped at the Mission San Juan Capistrano on our way from Los Angeles to San Diego. We only stopped briefly to look around the Mission and the gardens.

The story of the Swallows of Capistrano is also very interesting. They are said to return every year on March 19th, St. Joseph’s Day. The story of the swallows even had a song written about it, 'When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano.' which charted for several people, including Pat Boone, The Ink Spots and The Glenn Miller Orchestra.

History of the Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Father Lasuen first founded the mission on October 30th 1775.

Mission San Juan Capistrano became the seventh of twenty-one missions founded in Alta California. Like the previous six missions, it was established to expand Spain's territorial boundaries and spread Christianity to the Native peoples of California. By 1806, Mission San Juan Capistrano had a population of over 1,000 people and over 10,000 head of cattle. After 1812, the Mission began to decline.

By 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain, which made Alta California a territory of Mexico. By 1834, the Mexican government decided to end the mission system entirely. Soon after the decree of secularisation, or the ending of the missions, the landholdings of Mission San Juan Capistrano were divided and sold to 20 prominent California families. By 1845, Governor Pio Pico even sold the Mission itself. The Mission was sold at auction to John Forster, Governor Pio Pico’s brother-in-law, for $710, it was valued to be worth more than $54,000. For the next 20 years, the Mission was a private ranch property of the Forster family.

Mission San Juan Capistrano, like California, saw yet another government take over California when the United States won the Mexican-American War in 1848. As part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, California and other western territories were ceded to the United States.

President Abraham Lincoln gave back the Missions to the Catholic Church. The Mission continues its preservation efforts with the help of donations each year. Although the Catholic Church owns the Mission, it is now run by a non-profit organisation.