Mission San Luis Rey Barracks and Lavanderia

Full tour map

The tour is about over. From the front area of the Mission we’ll walk down the hill to see the ruins of the military barracks and the Indian lavanderia. As you walk down the hill, turn around periodically; you’ll find an excellent view of the Mission with the fountain in front…

Fountain and Church
Picture taken 12:40pm 22 Jul 2002

Barracks

Just down from the front of the Mission you will find the ruins of the military barracks (#6 in the map above). Each mission had a small cadre of soldiers with a Corporal for their leader. The Mission here had from five to eleven soldiers (at various times) plus the Corporal.

Walk all the way around the fenced-in area to see the ruins from all angles (and because you’ll want to be on the far side to better get to the lavanderia next).

Soldier Barracks
Picture taken 10:50am 22 Jul 2002
Soldier Barracks
Picture taken 12:40pm 22 Jul 2002

Lavanderia

A lavanderia is the area where the Indians went to wash clothes. This was basically a weekly task (not much has changed over time!) and a time for social gathering. The water that flowed through the lavanderia went on to water fields and gardens.

At the Mission, the lavanderia is a short walk down the hill from the site of the military barracks (#7 in the map above). You enter through the gate in the wall and make your way down the steps to the washing area itself. There you can see portions of the water system as well as the washing area.

Lavanderia Gate
Picture taken 12:35pm 22 Jul 2002
Lavanderia
Picture taken 12:35pm 22 Jul 2002
Water Supply
Picture taken 12:35pm 22 Jul 2002

Exit back up the stairs and make your way back to the parking area.

Lavanderia Stairs
Picture taken 12:35pm 22 Jul 2002

Landmarks

The Mission is both a National and California landmark. The National Landmark sign is mounted on a rock just to the left of the Church entrance. The California landmark sign is at the base of the three flagpoles in front of the Church.

National Landmark
Picture taken 10:50am 22 Jul 2002

San Luis Rey Mission Church

has been designated a

Registered National HIstoric Landmark

Under the provisions of the Historic Sites Act of August 21, 1955 this site possesses exceptional value in commemorating or illustrating the history of the United States.

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service

1970

California Landmark
Picture taken 12:15pm 22 Jul 2002

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia

Founded June 12, 1798 by Father Lasuen, the President of the California Missions, and administered by Father Peyri. Notable for its impressive architecture — a composite of Spanish, Moorish, Mexican.

Historical Landmark No. 239

Department of Public Works — Division of Highways

[Note: All references say the Mission was founded on June 13th. So, there appears to be an error in this landmark sign.]