When the Wilkinsons Come Back to Capistrano...

... the swallows will be gone! We finally made it back to Mission San Juan Capistrano on Nov 17th (it was closed on our last attempt). Of course, the swallows had already migrated south. That's okay, we didn't come to see the birds. We enjoy the history: This Spanish mission, called the "Jewel of the Missions," was founded on All Saint's Day, Nov 1st, 1776 by Fr. Junipero Serra. The Capistrano Mission is an early chapter in Southern California history and today it's the pride of Orange County (along with Disneyland, but that's a whole different chapter). The song, "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano," was composed by Leon Rene in 1939. It became a big hit and it really put the Mission on the map. If you'd care to read more about the Mission, click here. It's a lovely and serene place to spend an afternoon; blooming flowers flourish amid old stands of cactus and palm trees and feathery pepper trees.

One "period" museum room. Sitting in the Plaza by a lily & koi pond, blinded by the sun!

A courtyard next to the Great Stone Church. The Bell Wall - the bells originally hung in the bell tower of the Great Stone Church until the earthquake of 1812.

(L) Love this arched walkway. (R) The Great Stone Church, begun in 1797 and finished in 1806, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. Walls crumbled and domes caved in, killing 42 Indian worshippers. The church was never rebuilt, tho a stabilization project was completed in 2004. Amazing how big this church was, esp for the time. Can you see Jimmy sitting by the wall? He was awestruck by the whole mission. Wonderful day!


  1. Anonymous7:54 AM

    beautiful old place! from Nannie

  2. Ahhh, this brings back memories. :)


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