With the temperature headed towards 100 degrees fahrenheit (38 celcius) I joined a group from my mother’s assisted living facility to visit Mission San Fernando. Of the 21 missions throughout California I have visited less than a dozen and I had never visited this one before. The missions were founded by the Spanish between 1769 and 1823 in order to spread Christianity and colonize what is now known as the State of California. The story is that they were built one day’s travel from each other. Mission San Fernando Rey de España, completed in September 8, 1797, was the 17th of these missions and is located in the Mission Hills district of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. It was named after St. Ferdinand, King of Spain from 1217-1252. Steps leading to the wine cellar. There was no corner liquor store to pop out to so they made their own:
There is a lot to see at the mission and well worth the $5 admission price ($4.00 seniors). San Fernando is an active Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Paintings of the all 21 missions in the system. Click on an image below to start a slideshow of some interior shots. I took the photos handheld with available light. Some of the exhibits were behind iron railings so I had to squeeze the lens in between the bars.
I am not really sure which parts of the complex are original and which have been rebuilt or restored. For instance, the church building was destroyed in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake and had to be completely reconstructed. A postcard collection with photos of this mission. I liked the way they painted the doorways and walls with decorative motifs to enhance the experience.
All the different rooms and areas in the mission were furnished and decorated to allow visitors to imagine what life must have been like there in the 1800s.
Although it was an extremely hot day, inside the thick adobe walls it was quite cool… natural air conditioning! This stole was presented to Pope John Paul II when he visited the church at San Fernando, Rey de España. This commemorates the first visit ever by a Pope to any of the California missions. The altar, reredos and pulpit are carved from walnut and date from 1687. Originally they were installed in the chapel of St. Philip Neri at Ezcaray, Spain.
Below are photos of the Bob Hope Memorial Garden where Bob Hope is buried. I didn’t get to see his actual tomb as we had to leave at that moment. But I found a photo on Flickr… click here for grave photo.
Outside in the blistering heat:
But before we leave, do you see the cat keeping cool amongst the greenery? The missions are an important part of the founding of California and I enjoy showing them to visitors who may not know much about the history of our state. Now that I have finally visited the mission that is located the closest to my house, I will be back! A very enjoyable and informative trip.
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