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Navigation for Mission San Antonio de Padua:

The mission of San Antonio is situated in the Sierra de Santa Lucía ... in a rather wide valley some ten leagues long and full of large oaks, for which reason they call the mission San Antonio de la Cañada de los Rohles.

The site is very good, with fine lands, and plentiful water from the river which runs through this valley. ... In the range there is a great abundance of oaks, live oaks, and pines, and consequently plenty of pinenuts and acorns, for which reason the mission raises large numbers of hogs.

Diary of Padre Pedro Font, de Anza expedition, 6 March 1776

Picture taken 4:55pm 9 Mar 2005

Because of the surrounding Federal lands, this Mission setting looks very much like it did when it was originally founded. The present site is the second Mission in the area; the first being closer to the river but subject to flooding. As you drive past the main Army area and onto the road to the Mission you effectively go back in time. Drive slowly; there are a number of signs on the road into the Mission which explain various aspects of history and Mission design. The writing can only be read on the way in; the back sides of the signs are blank.

As you approach the Mission itself the parking area is directly in front and one of the first things you see is...

...the Hannon statue of Blessed Serra directly in front of the mission. Don't forget to rub the toe for luck.

There are extensive grounds to wander around on at the mission. Just be careful. There are instructions posted at the door of the mission regarding what to do if a rattlesnake is encountered!

This tour page we'll just show the front of the Mission and leave the grounds to another tour page.

Hannon Statue
Picture taken 4:30pm 22 Apr 2001

Walking from the Hannon statue away from the Church you walk along the front of the Mission. There are various displays to see and nice views back toward the Mission Church. Stop at the well (the white rectangle in the lower center of this picture) and then take a look at the ship mastheads brought to the Mission by ship captains. A question remains about how or why ship captains would visit this Mission since there is no harbor along the coast anywhere near the Mission; if you go to the coast you will find steep cliffs.
Front of Mission San Antonio
Picture taken 3:40pm 9 Mar 2005

At the end of the Mission turn and return via the outside shaded corridor. If you need them, the restrooms are at this end of the corridor (under that little hanging sign you see at the left edge of this picture). Walk back to the Mission museum and gift shop about where the flag is in this picture.

Plan to spend a fair amount of time in the Mission museum if you are interested in the details of mission life and the various techniques of making and working with wine, olive oil, tiles, lumber, etc. The museum has an extensive and interesting collection of such items; many geared toward educational use.

Front corridor of Mission San Antonio
Picture taken 4:00pm 9 Mar 2005

Before going in, however, take another quick look at the front of the Mission Church; in particular note the campanerio with the bells that sits apart from (but connected to) the Church itself. This design is unique to this Mission. The original façade was probably plain and the campanerio was added at an unknown date. The three bells in the campanerio are shown below.

Picture taken 3:55pm 9 Mar 2005

Picture taken 4:55pm 9 Mar 2005

Picture taken 4:55pm 9 Mar 2005

Picture taken 4:55pm 9 Mar 2005

The center bell, in particular, is important at this Mission. It was cast for this Mission and is the first Mission bell cast in California. It is 24-inches in diameter and weighs some 500 pounds.

Proceed into the Museum Trail


Navigation for Mission San Antonio de Padua:

Mission Home :: History :: Exterior :: Museum01 :: Museum02 :: Garden :: Church :: Area Around Mission

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Copyright © 2001-2005 Tom Simondi, All Rights Reserved
Pray the rosary for peace!