Navigation for Mission San Antonio de Padua:
When you are finished with the Mission proper do take some time to explore the grounds. Again, since you will be out in the fields watch out for snakes. Use this map, found painted on the museum wall as a guide to the areas shown below.
The largest area on the South side of the Mission is the Indian Cemetery. The Cemetery was started in 1804 and is surrounded by rock walls as shown in this panorama constructed of several pictures stitched together.
If you circle around what's left of the Majordomo's house you will find an area that was used as a threashing floor for grain. This stitched panorama actually takes in a full semi-circle (180°) though distortion makes it look like less.
The North side of the Church has a few graves and one pomegranate tree that dates from the Mission era (two pictures, one 2005, the second 2008 which shows what a wet winter will do for the vegetation in the area).
There is also an excavated area that shows the foundation for a building that originally ran parallel to the Church. The building was 218 feet long by 30 feet wide with 3.5-foot walls according to the foundation layout. There were room partitions as seen in the excavation.
A little beyond is the remains of what might be called an engineering marvel. Padre Sitjar, after the Mission was moved away from the river to its present location, had an aqueduct built that took the river water some three miles to the reservoir (mill pond) shown below. Portions of the original retaining walls are still visible. Again, this is a stitched full semi-circle (180°) panorama.
About half way down the road from the Fort to the Mission you will see the original well and reservoir.
The museum has a display model that shows how this well/reservoir worked. The buckets were mounted to a strap that wound around a large wheel. The strap was long enough to dip the buckets into the water in the well. Two people would turn the wheel and draw water up from the well and dump it into the reservoir. This was constructed in 1824, the well was called Noria, and the reservoir held some 15,000 gallons. Two men working about seven (7) hours could fill the reservoir from the well.
And, if you happen to come around April in a year that had good winter rains the past season, you will see a collection of wildflowers both on the road to the Mission and on the base property itself. Something like this...
That concludes the tour of Mission San Antonio de Padua. Please visit the other missions.
For a Flash video of this Mission and other resources see The California Mission Resource Center site.