Monday, October 11, 2010

My World Tuesday Season # 3 Episode # 1

This is the last post on what I have been sharing from the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, California's first mission founded by Friar Junipero Serra on July 16th, 1769.

Please click on the photos to enlarge them to get a clearer view.

I took many, many photographs. I wanted to capture everything but here again, pictures really don't do it justice. Gregg took several photos shown in my post today.

You can read a full history of the Mission if you go here and an article written here.

A nearby marker told us about the facade. It read: "As a result of the Indian attack of 1775, Padre Serra returned during the summer of 1776 to initiate the reconstruction of Mission San Diego. The church and buildings were rebuilt and the Mission flourished for a number of years.

Earthquakes of the early 1800's destroyed most of the adobe buildings and church. The structures were rebuilt and the buttress wings were added in 1812 to strengthen the facade of the church. By the early 1920's, portions of the walls adjoining the buttresses, the campanario and the baptistry were the only walls that remained standing.

The doors are replicas made of redwood and the carvings are taken from actual designs that were on the original doors. The emblem over the door is the papal insignia and signifies that Mission San Diego is a minor basilica. This honor was bestowed on the Mission by Pope Paul VI in 1976.

The statues in the niches along the corridor (a few of those saints are shown in a mosaic further along the post) represent the nine missions founded by Padre Serra, in chronological order. Each statue represents the saint for whom that mission was named."

Inside I was struck by its beauty. As you can see we are looking towards the Altar....

and in this we are looking at the other side of the door at the entrance.

The gardens at the Mission were also lovely.

Outside I read the following: "Padre Luis Jayme - Born Melchor Jayme on October 18, 1740 in the farming village of San Juan, Majorca, Spain. In 1760 he was received into the Franciscan Order and chose "Luis" as his religious name. Padrey Jayme became pastor of the Mission San Diego in 1771 and was instrumental in moving the Mission inland from the Presidio to the present site in August of 1774. By December of that year, a number of adobe and thatch buildings were constructed. Crops were planted and many natives joined the mission life and were baptized as Christians.

Progress was being made until the early morning hours of November 5th, 1775, when hundreds of natives from surrounding rancherias set fire to the Mission buildings, pillaged the church and cruelly murdered Padre Jayme as he met them with his usual greeting, "jAmar a Dios, hijos - Love God my children!"

(This photo and the one before shows a statue of St. Francis)

Padre Jayme became California's first Christian martyr because of his self-sacrifice, devotions, faith and love. His remains are buried in the sanctuary of the church at Mission San Diego de Alcala."
(This is a statue of Father Junipero Serra)

A sign in the gardens tells us that "The Campanario is 46 feet high and holds the Mission bells. The crown-topped bell on the lower rjght is named Ave Maria Parisma - Immaculate Mary. It weighs 805 pounds and was cast in 1802. A crown-topped bell was usually supplied by the Spanish King and cast in the royal foundry in Barcelona at the King's expense or made in a country ruled by Spain. Ave Maria Parisma was in the vestibule of St. Joseph's church and was hung in the campanario after the reconstruction of Mission San Diego in 1931.

The bell on the lower left is called the Mater Dolorosa - Our Lady of Sorrows. It weighs 1200 pounds and was recast by the Standard Iron Works of San Diego in 1894 from bell fragments found in the vicinity of the Mission.

The bells played an important role in the everyday life of the Mission. A sequence of tones and rhythms was developed for each occasion. They were used to announce times for Mass, work, meals and siestas. The bells signalled danger, rang solemnly to honor the dead and pealed joyously to celebrate feast days, weddings and fiestas.

Gregg walking along the corridor.

These show a few of the Saints mentioned before, representing the other nine missions.

Just before we left, a wedding party arrived. You can just make out Gregg on the right as he waited for the group to go into the Mission. The Bride wore a long, strapless, bright red gown and the Groom wore a white suit. They made a very striking young couple and when I saw their faces they looked like they were 16, though I know they were probably older. They just seemed so very young.

This was the vehicle they arrived in.

I have never seen a pomegranate tree before and the one on the grounds was loaded with them.

The large white cross nearby.

This is the bell from the Spanish King.

I am very glad we got the chance to visit the Mission. When we lived here all those years ago we never knew of its existence, although I remember visiting another in the area.

Hopefully we will make another trip here one day.

Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy and Sylvia for hosting My World.

You can see other ‘My World’ photos or join in and share your own by clicking right here.


  1. You've done a wonderful job showcasing this mission. When I was a girl, growing up in Southern California we learned about the missions and made a diorama of one of them. I've forgotton much of what I learned but do remember what an important part of the state's history they are.

  2. these are wonderful captures. I enjoy these very much. thanks for the snippets.

  3. Wonderful post, Denise! Great tour!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous. I loved the whitewashed walls. The interior is lovely. Great story behind the mission.

    Great post!

  5. You've got some gorgeous shots here, Denise. What a great place to enjoy and photograph.

    I LOVE California. I've only been to San Francisco and Santa Barbara and I want to see the whole state, eventually.

  6. An exhaustive gallery of photos and information!
    I imagine it would be exciting to hear those bells pealing. Did you get to hear them after the wedding?

  7. Fantastic photos of such a gorgeous and historic old mission! Wonderful post and tour. You have indeed done a great job of showcasing it! Have a wonderful week!


  8. That mission looks amazing, so beautiful. I could see the attraction of a life there.

  9. Thanks for sharing the mission with us, Denise. What a fabulous place and you captured it so well... I loved the gardens and bells also. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Denise: Wonderful captures fromm your trip to the mission, looks like you had a great trip.

  11. What an amazingly gorgeous place. Your photos have captured the beauty and spirit of it all.

  12. interesting history--we have similar posts today.:p this mission looks well-maintained. the exterior and interior look beautiful. fabulous photos!

  13. what peace in that garden simplistic beauty

  14. lots of wonderful pictures! Thanks!

  15. I love old ornate churches. These photos were magnificent; thanks Denise

  16. Denise, beautiful photos of the old Mission and it's surroundings. Thanks for sharing.

  17. I do believe there was a standard set of plans all missions were built after. The 8 we saw around San Antonio were alike and they are like this one as well. The same but different.

  18. This was a fascinating post. Thank you for all the great information and tour of the beautiful mission.

  19. Wow! I feel like I took a stroll through the grounds and church.

  20. What a wonderful trip you had to such an interesting and attractive place. Thank you for taking us along:-)

  21. Wonderful series of shots... so many details so well presented.

  22. Wonderful tour and great information. Brings back memories of last year when I was there and took photos of some of the very same places. When we are in California I try to tour a mission if we are close. I think I've got photos of about 6 or 7. Here is a link to a few of my photos of this beautiful mission, as well as others.

  23. Dear Denise,
    Fantastic post, I love that Altar, the windows, the bells, the perspective in your pictures, you are very talented with your camera and this place is beautiful!

  24. Thank you so much for this beautiful amazing tour! What a magnificent church!

  25. Great Post Denise Thanks I love old buildings XXX Don

  26. What wonderful shots and a fantastic detailed post on this gorgeous mission. I would love to visit there one of these days.

  27. All I can say is - its a real treat to see all these photos and the interesting info, Bravo Denise on a super [post.

  28. I bet it was a treat to visit this mission. You always take the most interesting pictures and I might add they are always so clear.