Mission San Juan Bautista

Mission San Juan Bautista was the fifteenth in the Alta California mission chain and has the largest church among them. Established June 24, 1797, by Father Lasuén and named after John the Baptist, it was successful from the very beginning.

Father Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta, one of the mission padres, learned several indigenous languages to attract the local Native Americans, and he preached in seven. The indigenous people helped build the church and other mission buildings and develop the fruit orchards.

After secularization in 1834, the indigenous peoples gradually left, but the church was never without a priest. Built directly on the San Andres Fault, it suffered considerable damage in the 1800 and 1906 earthquakes. Today the mission is part of a plaza that is shared by two adobe houses, a hotel, and a stable.

An article about the statue of John the Baptist can be found at