Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

A foot-long koi fish swims in a Moorish-style fountain in the central courtyard at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Visitors listen to self-guided tours of the Great Stone Church that was largely destroyed by an 1812 earthquake.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Mechelle Lawrence-Adams, Mission San Juan Capistrano's executive director, takes in the new exhibit that showcases rarely-seen historic artifacts and paintings.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

A silver crucifix took a bullet when a disgruntled man fired his gun in a chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano in the early 1900's.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

President Abraham Lincoln's signature is seen on the original 1865 document that returned the California missions from private ownership to the Catholic Church's control.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

The new exhibit features an original "mission trail" bell. The bell was later copied, and hundreds of them were erected along the California route of the old El Camino Real.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Mechelle Lawrence-Adams, the mission's executive director, points out details in a 1924 painting by Charles Percy Austin. The painting depicts Hollywood movie star Mary Pickford renewing her vows to then-husband Owen Moore at the mission in 1915.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

The newly restored "Serra's Church," built in 1782, is the oldest building in California still in use. Documents show that Father Junipero Serra celebrated mass here.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

A tour guide leads a group through Mission San Juan Capistrano.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Four swallow nests are among a diminishing number still found at Mission San Juan Capistrano. The birds have nested here for centuries, but modern development has hindered their ability to make it their summer home.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

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This summer, an exhibit at the Mission San Juan Capistrano unveils its rarely seen treasures — restored artwork and rare historical and religious artifacts, which include a document signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

Built in 1782, the newly restored “Serra’s Church” at Mission San Juan Capistrano is the oldest building in California still in use.  Documents show that Father Junipero Serra celebrated mass there.

Read Mike Anton’s story.

1 Comment

  1. August 14, 2011, 9:44 am

    I visisted this Mission several times in the 1960's and 1970's while teaching California History to my 4th grade students. My Grandmother also gave me a set of postcards that were taken somewhere in the 1890's or early 1900's of all the Missions. Some of the Missions are no longer standing. She also went to a Garden Party in the 1920's and won a picture of San Juan Capistrano that was painted by one of the persons in attendence. The Mission Period was a mixed bag but was one very eventful and exciting period of California History.

    By: deewhy1939

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