468x60 Ads

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Mission San Gabriel Archangel in California

I had no idea about the missions and its historical relevance, prior to visiting San Juan Capistrano as I and my relative planned it for the purpose of taking some shots for my travel photography blog. My friend Malou, in one of our meet-ups introduced me to the missions, that Capistrano was one of the 21 missions in California. To those who have missed out reading my previous blog posts, I visited the San Juan Capistrano and San Buenaventura missions recently. My curiosity and interest about the missions expanded as soon as she brought me to Ventura, California to visit the “Things from Heaven” angel store.

 According to Wikipedia, a California Mission is a Spanish Mission in California comprise of religious and military outpost by Spanish Catholics of the Franciscan Order between 1769 and 1833 to spread the Christian faith among local Native Americans. Today, the missions are among the state’s oldest structures and the most visited historic monuments, consisting 21 missions.

Last Saturday, June 15, Malou picked me up at Starbucks in Las Palmas, Buena Park for San Gabriel mission taking us about an hour drive to the South Mission Drive .

The third “California Mission” I visited is known as “Mission San Gabriel Archangel" and is founded in September 8, 1771. It became the wealthiest and most prosperous of all the missions.

The Gift Shop is the main entrance to the Gardens and once inside, the first thing that appears is the Fountain Plaza.

The Gift Shop serves as the main entrance to the Garden
We found also the open fireplaces were used for cooking. After the kitchen was destroyed by fire in 1812, open fire places were built. It was designed to hold iron kettles in which beef and corn were cooked to feed the Indians. The replicas are similar in size, shape and material, and are built directly over, the original fire places.
The Fountain Plaza

The Fireplace
Open Fireplace where beef and popcorn soup are cooked

The Quadrangle was erected 150 years after the Mission was founded and the statue of Father Junipera Serra was erected. The grapevine here was perhaps planted about 1775.

The Grapevine
The Quadrangle
Next up was the Museum built in 1812 originally was composed of weaving rooms, the granary, carpenter shops and sleeping quarters for the mission fathers. It houses some artifacts and collections of garments. Some books are date backs to the late 1489 and a Spanish bedroom set in 1623. We saw one section where they used to make wine and olive oil and said to be that in this time was the largest winery in the state of California.

Inside the museums are some artifacts
Old garments, musical instruments, etc can be found in one of the rooms
The sleeping quarter used for mission
some of the old paintings found in one of the rooms
pictures of the celebrities who visited San Gabriel with autographs
The guide explains some of the historical facts in the museum

Approaching the church is a grapevine that was planted in 1925 and it started to bear fruits. The church was built on cut stone, mortar and brick and it has been said as the oldest structure south of Monterey. Surprisingly a holding of wedding ceremony was about to end the moment we entered the church and we went to the main altar.

A section of the room where they used to make wines

The Grapevine planted in 1925

We passed through “Campo Santo Cemetery” first consecrated in 1778 and this is the oldest cemetery in Los Angeles County. The walls which surround this area were rebuilt in 1940 but the foundations are original. Interestingly to learn that priests who passed away were laid down to rest in this section.

This section serves as the cemetery for the priests

Inside the church after the wedding ceremony
approaching the main alter
The altar
The garden where you can see the big cross

We decided to go back to the Gift Shop and saw some miniatures of 21 missions sold for around $25.
Outside the garden where the Gift Shop serves as the main entrance, you can see the modern church located on the other side of the mission.
The Gift Shop where you can see the 21 missions miniature is sold

The modern church outside the mission garden
View of the modern church outside
A woman praying and in the left is the statue of San Lorenzo Ruiz

The day temperature continues to soar that we decided to leave the mission going to the Valley road where we had our late lunch at China Bistro.
China Bistro where we had lunch
Lunch for $30

The vicinity serves as the trade center where Chinese grocery stores, shops, restaurants, etc. can be found.

Chinese shopping place found at the Valley Rd in San Gabriel

Sameera Chathuranga

1 Responses So Far:

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing your tour, very informative and exciting place to visit..