Navigation for San Juan Bautista:
We'll start at the entrance under the El Camino Real bell. The State
Historical Area will be off to the right and behind you. The original convento
wing of the Mission is in front of you and now contains the gift shop and
museum. The Church and stairway down to the original El Camino Real is
at the far end of the historical area.
This entrance gives you the opportunity to study one of the El
Camino Bells from all sides.
Picture taken 10:20am 7 June 2004
Picture taken 11:25am 7 June 2004 |This wing is the only part of the quadrangle remaining from the Mission.
The kitchen in this wing served 1,200 people three times every day during
the height of the Mission's activity. Once you are inside the quadrangle
you can see inside the kitchen.
At the far end of the wing you will find the church...
Picture taken 11:25am 7 June 2004
Picture taken 11:30am
7 June 2004
|The Hannon statue of Blessed
Serra stands in a small garden area just to the left side of the
Church entrance. Don't
forget to rub his toe for luck.
But, don't stop there. Continue on past the Church and down a short set of
steps. Once you do, you will be in a unique place in California: the only spot
I know of that is both on the original El Camino Real and directly over the
San Andreas Earthquake Fault. The trail is used mostly for walking, jogging,
and some biking today but standing there you know that two hundred years before
the Spanish and those that followed them walked the same ground.
Picture taken 11:30am 7 June 2004
Picture taken 9:20am 7 June 2004 |As you wander around the area keep your eyes open for feral chickens.
At last count there were several hundred around the San Juan Bautista area.
Some think that the chickens came with the Padres and have stayed ever
since (Friar's fryers?).
People in the area feed them so they tend to stay around. Keep an eye out,
however, in March 2006 the Los Angeles Times ran an article which
mentioned that the local authorities are contemplating a new regulation
making it illegal to feed the feral chickens. Some in the city are in an
uproar over that but businesses in the area are claiming the mess the chickens
make is worse than the potential loss of the chickens. So, after so many
years the San Juan Bautista chickens may not just cross the road but actually
hit the road!
Now backtrack down the length of the Mission and enter the gift shop to take
a trip through the museum...