Mission San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist)

3/29/16 (Tuesday) in Paicines, CA (San Benito-TT)

This is the 15th of the 21 missions established by the Catholic Church in Alta California, with the help of the helpful indigenous people in 1797.

mission 1.jpg

A peek inside those adobe walls.

mission 2

The Franciscan’s dining room. Note the opening in the wall to the right. That middle part swings, so the kitchen staff on the other side can place food, then swing that panel around so those in the dining room can get that food.

mission 3

Would you believe it? Hitchcock filmed “Vertigo” here. He had to reconstruct the tower, because it had been demolished in 1949 and he filmed in 1957. This cross was from that tower. The vestments behind it are from the 1930’s.  You can click on an image to see it enlarged.


Father Tapis wrote some hymnals when he was here. This is one of them. Looks just like the size of hymnal that Mr. Hearst bought to create his lampshades, I’d say.

mission 6

This is still an active parish. These are from inside the church, plus the garden square inside the mission structure.  It’s considered the largest of the mission churches because there are 3 aisles in the church.


Outside of the Mission structure we saw the graveyard, overlooking a wonderful view. Near here is also where the original El Camino Real roadway was. We’d noticed the mission bells along US 101, as well as signs for El Camino Real. Now we know the story behind them.


We also visited the San Juan Bautista State Park that’s right next to the Mission, but it wasn’t nearly as memorable an experience.

We did see this cool Pepper Tree on the Street of San Juan Bautista, so I wanted to share it.

**tree 1

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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