Mission San Juan Capistrano
58 miles to Los Angeles International Airport
Mission San Juan Capistrano was a Spanish mission in colonial California and its ruins are located in San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, Southern California. Its history is in the form of tales from its previous residents and present visitors. It is a place of historical, cultural, and religious significance, as well as a place for meditation and inspiration.
Founded in 1776 by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order, Mission San Juan Capistrano is named after Giovanni de Capistrano, a 15th-century theologian. Mission San Juan Capistrano is home to a chapel built in 1782, said to be the oldest building in California still in use.
Years later, a church complex was constructed northwest of the mission compound. Today, the Mission San Juan Capistrano displays historic and religious artifacts, 18th-20th century art, and has an illustrative room committed to Native American art. A permanent selection of artifacts belonging to the priests who lived there in the 18th century is featured, underscoring the historical meaning of the mission system and the role of the priests in establishing what became the state of California.
Paintings ranging in date from the 18th to the 20th centuries are included in the Mission’s extended museum selection. The paintings tell the history of California and its mission process.
In order to provide the Mission’s 300,000 yearly guests with information about the history and culture of the city’s historic district, the Heritage Tourism Association was created in 2015.
You can spend the day in San Juan Capistrano. Split up your visit of Mission San Juan Capistrano with dinner at one of several great downtown restaurants. Most are within walking distance of the Mission. Also, tour the Los Rios Historic District, see the new retablo in the Mission Basilica, or enjoy the shops that are nearby .
The Return of the Swallows
Swallows arrive at Mission San Juan Capistrano every March 19, and they quickly begin to build their mud nests, which line the ruins of the Great Stone Church of San Juan Capistrano. After spending at the Old Mission, the swallows take off again, and on October 23rd, they depart after circling the Mission. Every year, people travel from all over to witness this amazing event.