Mission San Juan Capistrano was founded 1 November 1776 (7th in order) by Saint Junípero Serra. The mission is named for Saint John of Capistrano, Italy. The Indian name was Sajirit or Quanis-savit. Nicknamed “Jewel of the Missions” San Juan Capistrano is perhaps the most famous because of the swallows that arrive mid-March (19 March – Saint Joseph’s day is the traditional arrival date) and stay until Mid-October. This activity has been documented since 1777. While much of the mission has been destroyed a small chapel, thought to be the oldest church in California, is called “Father Serra’s Church”. The chapel is active and has been since the mission’s founding.
The mission is just off of Interstate 5 in San Juan Capistrano. From either direction on I5 take the California 74 exit (Ortega Highway and/or Camino Capistrano). Proceed West about a third of a mile to the mission at 31522 Camino Capistrano (California Landmark 200).
- Open daily 8:30am-5pm. Closed Good Friday afternoon, Thanksgiving, Christmas day, and maybe Christmas Eve. [Note: MissionTour tries to keep this information up to date but cannot guarantee its accuracy as this is not the official Mission website. If planning a drive to the Mission please contact them directly to get the latest information in order to avoid disappointment.]
- Mail: 26801 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
- Phone: (949) 234-1300
- Web Site: http://www.missionsjc.com/