Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Secret Jewel of California Missions


San Juan Bautista is one of my favorite California missions to visit in the central valley. Almost completely intact, it has maintained that almost back to original times feeling, when the mission was still functioning, minus the hordes of tourists. One of the main reasons for its well preserved nature is due to the local residents care in preserving the mission, plaza and the town to all its beautiful glory. The church still functions today for all religious celebrations. Those interested in getting a glimpse of real missionary life should visit the mission and museum where you will get to see artifacts, re-created rooms to all the various parts of the mission including the church with its beautifully hand painted walls and alters. This is definitely one of the gems of the California Missions.


The old plaza really feels like a square of old times with the main buildings of the day surrounding the central grounds, a few hotels, a stable and some civic buildings. The mission stretches on one whole side with the church with the beautiful arcades of the mission adding comfort and amazing vistas to the plaza.



The front of the mission contain this sweet smelling garden of antique and hybrid roses in a circular garden with beautiful bronze sculptures of father Serra and a native Indian. Both sculptures created by a local artisan  and is placed to add dynamic composition to this aromatic garden.




If you are ever in the Central Valley on the way to Monterey, go and visit San Juan Bautista mission and the surrounding plaza and town, its a true jewel off the beaten path of typical visits to Old California.

This is my contribution to Fertilizer Fridays, go visit Tootsie for more at


Floridagirl said...

What a beautiful rose garden! Definitely will put that one on the list if I'm ever if that part of the world. Love Spanish architecture!

Anonymous said...

Noel, I'm just catching up with a couple weeks of your blog posts, and it turns out that you've been in San Francisco and environs, one of my favorite places in the world. Thanks for the tips on things I should see the next time I'm in the Bay area. (I'm still trying to make time to get to your recommended gardens in and near Washington, DC now that I'm back in that area for the school year.) -Jean

Helen/patientgardener said...

Thank you for sharing such a lovely place with us. I can imagine it in its past busy with the missionaaries etc

DeniseinVA said...

The Mission makes a lovely background for these magnificent roses. Your photos are excellent and very enjoyable. Have a great weekend Noel.

Karen said...

Noel, what a wonderful photographic tour of the mission and gardens. I swear I could almost smell the roses, what a perfume. Thank you for this glimpse of perfection!

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

I love those stone archways. I must admit it is a tad surreal to be viewing gorgeous pics of roses blooming away while my garden is sliding in to deep Autumn!

Johnny Nutcase said...

really nice compositions, and what a perfect little church! Those archways are really nice!

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