A Day At San Juan Capistrano

The Mission at San Juan Capistrano is one of the best known in the chain of 21 California missions. It is famous for the “return of the swallows” each year around March 19th (St. Joseph’s Day) and tourists, visiting California during the weeks around that date, pour into the area to marvel at how the birds return each year to claim their favorite roosts throughout the mission and city. San Juan Capistrano was the 7th in the chain of missions built by the Catholic Church throughout California and it is the only mission to have been founded twice. Father Lasuen established the mission in 1775 but had to leave and return to San Diego when that city was experiencing Indian attacks. Then a year later in 1776, Father Junipero Serra re-founded the mission and it is the only mission chapel still standing where Father Serra conducted worship services. During the years the mission suffered many set-backs from earthquakes and other misfortunes; however it has been restored through an on-going reconstruction effort and is considered one of the most romantic of the mission locations. Typical mission Indian work areas, beautiful landscaping, massive bells and graceful mission architecture are well worth a visit.