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Nuestra Señora la Reina de Los Angeles

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Navigation for San Gabriel Arcángel:

The official name for Los Angeles, when it started, was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula. Some have called the new settlement a second Asistencia of the San Gabriel Mission and the Plaza Church there even calls itself "Mission" Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles. The reality, however, is that it's unlikely that Los Angeles began as a Mission or even an Asistencia; instead, just a simple settlement. However, in the spirit of being complete, I've included this page...

Plaza Church
Picture taken 9:10am 15 Aug 2006

Settlers for the new California pueblo were hard to come by. Governor Felipe de Neve commissioned Captain Fernando Rivera to travel to Sonora and Sinaloa, other colonial provinces, in order to recruit people to move. The governor hoped he could find 24 married couples and 34 married soldiers for the new settlement. Only 11 families could be found. The group of 11 men, 11 women (2 Spanish, one half-breed, 8 mulattoes, 9 Indians, and 2 Blacks), and 22 children; along with Governor de Neve himself, soldiers, padres, and a few Indians left Mission San Gabriel on 4 September 1781 to settle a site along the Porciúncula River which the Governor had previously scouted, on the recommendation of Padre Crespi, for the new settlement.

Nothing survives of the original settlement and adobe houses along with the foundation for a church and public buildings had been constructed by 1784. By 1790 the pueblo had grown to 141 persons tending to some 3,000 head of cattle. By 1820 the pueblo was the largest civilian community in Spanish California with some 650 residents.

8 December 1822 the current church building, a replica of the original adobe structure) was dedicated and served as the only Roman Catholic church in the pueblo for some years after.

Original Bell
Picture taken 11:30am 15 Aug 2006
In front and to the left of entrance one can also see the restored original mission bell that was dedicated 15 August 1906 and copies of which decorate El Camino Real. (A centennial celebration was held across the plaza 15 August 2006 and a second bell hung there as well. See the El Camino Real page for pictures.)
Top Center Front
Picture taken 11:15am 15 Aug 2006

The mosaic you see toward the top of the Church is a recent addition (1981). It is a copy of detail about the Annunciation from the image of Our Lady of the Angels in the Portiuncula Chapel at Assisi. The image was dedicated by Cardinal Manning 4 September 1981 to celebrate the city's bicentennial.

The bell tower on the left as you look at the front of the Church rounds out the outside.

Bell Tower
Picture taken 11:15am 15 Aug 2006

Inside the Church is a smallish worship area that is almost always occupied during hours the Church is open. This day the Blessed Sacrament was on display.

Inside Church Long Shot
Picture taken 11:15am 15 Aug 2006

As you to up to the altar be certain to also look to the left and right. There are two niches (one on each side) that also hold religious art.

Left Alcove
Picture taken 11:15am 15 Aug 2006
Main Altar
Picture taken 11:15am 15 Aug 2006
Right Alcove
Picture taken 11:15am 15 Aug 2006

Outside the Church, in the courtyard are vendors and other displays, including this dark skinned Christ on the cross.

Outside Cross
Picture taken 11:30am 15 Aug 2006

In looking for the Church's location I kept seeing references to Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church at the address where I thought the Plaza Church was. In walking to the back of the Plaza Church I found out why. There is a whole other, more modern and larger, Catholic Church attached to the back side of the Plaza Church. This is Our Lady Queen of Angels.

New Church
Picture taken 11:30am 15 Aug 2006

Olvera Street

Just north of the plaza which is across from the Plaza Church is a historic area known as Olvera Street. It still has brick pavement and a rock drain running down the center of the street. But, as you can see here, this is both a historic and tourist area. It was early when the pictures were taken so the vendors were just setting up. Normally, the pictures would show large groups of people.

Olvera Street
Picture taken 9:05am 15 Aug 2006
Pavement
Picture taken 9:05am 15 Aug 2006
Avila Adobe
Picture taken 9:05am 15 Aug 2006
Just one of the historic buildings you can tour along Olvera Street is the Avila Adobe; the oldest still-standing home in Los Angeles. Ceremonial bells were installed in 1937 in front of the adobe to honor California Women of Achievement.
1937 Bells
Picture taken 9:05am 15 Aug 2006

Directions

LA Plaza Location Map

The LA Plaza is just across from the main Union Station; a stop for many of the LA transportation systems. The DASH Chinatown bus also stops an easy walk from the Plaza. There is a parking lot next to the Plaza Church and several others in the area. If driving note that there are one-way streets in the area; in particular, Main Street is one-way Northbound...

  • From the North: I5 South to 110 South; move and stay Left on the 110; take the Hill Street exit (exit to the Left) to Ord Street; turn left to N. Alameda Street; turn right proceed past Union Station then right to Main Street; right to the Plaza.
  • From the South: I5 North to 101 North; exit Alameda Street; turn left at Union Station and circle around the Plaza.
  • From the East: I10 West to 101 North; exit Alameda Street; turn left at Union Station and circle around the Plaza.
  • From the West: I10 East to 110 North; exit Hill Street/Stadium Way-Chinatown; follow ramp and merge onto Hill Street; turn left on Ord Street; turn left to N. Alameda Street; turn right proceed past Union Station then right to Main Street; right to the Plaza.

References

 

Navigation for Mission San Gabriel Arcángel:

Mission Home :: History :: Exterior :: San Bernardino Asistencia :: Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles

 


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Copyright © 2006-2011 Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved
Pray the rosary for peace!