Monday, November 10, 2014

Mission Santa Barbara

In collaboration with other bloggers throughout California, I am participating in a travel series hosted by the fabulous Leanna from "All Done Monkey" called "Exploring the California Missions".


Hubby and I had a planned Anniversary trip to Disneyland this year and I knew it would be a perfect time to visit the Santa Barbara Mission.



We had originally planned on taking our Granddaughters with us, but that did not work out with the timing as the oldest was back in school when we made the trip.

I think she (the seven year old) would have been interested in the trip, though I'm pretty sure the 3 year old would not have been amused, so it probably worked out for the best.

Hubby and I really enjoyed it though, as it had been a LONG time since either of us had heard/learned about the History of the missions and neither of us have ever been to one.

I am a very "visual" person and to be able to see the beautiful grounds,view the architecture and all the precious artifacts depicting that time, was a special treat for me!










The Santa Barbara Mission, also known as the "Queen of the Missions" was the 10th of the California missions founded in 1786 by Padre Fermin Francisco de Lausen, who was Padre Junipero Serra's successor.

The mission was named for Saint Barbara, a legendary martyred church figure of the 3rd century and was the third mission established in the land of the Chumash people at the native site of Xana'yan.

One of the first things you notice when arriving at the mission is the huge, beautiful fountain in the front which was built in 1808.


Also greeting visitors near the entrance to the mission is the traditional El Camino Real Bell next to a statue of Father Serra.


These bells were placed at each mission and they showed the distance between the next mission north and south listed below the bell. 


The gorgeous landscaping of the grounds was amazing!
I saw so many variations of plants, trees and flowers that I had never seen before.


This red bloom was particularly intriguing and I wish I knew what it was!






Front corridor of Mission showing the beautiful arches.
There were originally sixteen arches and today there are eighteen.


The Sacred Garden...


There was another Garden at the Mission, called the "La Huerta Historic Gardens" that we were not able to see up close, because a docent led tour is required to view this area, and we were doing a "self-guided" tour.

The cemetery garden... 


Saint Francis of Assisi is commemorated by this bronze statue in the garden.




This was the memorial marble cemetary stone (small white stone in photo above) for Juana Maria, the native Indian woman who inspired the book: Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell, which I read as a child in elementary school.
Her story is an amazing one as she was the last of her native tribe and was left abandoned and alone on the island of San Nicolas for 18 years before being rescued by George Nidever, a Santa Barbara Fur Trader.
You can read more about her story here.





This beautiful tree really stood out in the cemetery garden...it was so unusual the way the tree trunk was intertwined, it almost appeared as if two trees had come together!
It is a Moreton Bay Fig Tree, which is native to Austrailia.
It was planted sometime between 1890 and 1910.
(I found conflicting information on this tree in different literature I found on the subject)


The Skull carvings over the church doors were used to indicated a cemetery location.


The beautiful interior of the church...





Painting "The Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin Mary" from the Murillo school - Brought to the mission in 1798


Jesus and Mary Magdalane (Artist: Bruce Wolfe)


Items from archaeological dig at the mission from the early to mid 1800's


Chumash Decorative Items


Actual Friar's sandal...

...worn by an early Franciscan Missionary...(they don't look so comfy!) 

There were so many great displays and artifacts in the museum and I took tons of photos, but I am only showing a few here...because of course I want you to go and check out this beautiful mission yourself!


Bishops Doll


We had fun "pretending" to be Friar's...


But the best part...was we got to meet a REAL Franciscan Friar!


He welcomed us and asked us where we were from, we had a nice conversation with him and I'm embarrassed to say, I did not write down his name and could not remember it when I went to write this post!  I was just in awe I guess...I've never had the privilege to meet a Friar before!

Santa Barbara is the only mission continuously operated by Franciscans since it's founding and the church here at this mission is an active Roman Catholic Church owned and operated by the Franciscans. 

You can read more about the history of the Santa Barbara Mission here and for more information on tours and visiting the mission click here.

Hope you enjoyed my overview of the Santa Barbara Mission and if you'd like to learn more about all of the other California Missions, be sure to visit Leanna's site by clicking on the photo below for all the participating blogs in this series and their awesome reviews of each mission!



Thank-you for stopping by!


1 comment:

Mark Hall said...

That is exactly how I remember it. Great story. You did a great job as usual!