Tuesday, April 14, 2009

San Juan Bautista Mission

A little jewel tucked in the green hills between Monterey and San Jose is the tiny town of San Juan Bautista. It's known for its California mission, the largest of the missions. It's also known for its antique shops and the Alfred Hitchcock movie Vertigo. Saturday, we decided to drive up and walk around the mission. It was a perfect spring day, and we thoroughly enjoyed the gardens, buildings, and history.
The rolling green hills around San Juan Bautista -- the area is rich in agriculture, cattle, and a few wineries:

Our welcoming committee as we drove into town:

Old stone bowls, near a watering trough for animals:
The front of the mission:
The gardens -- that was one big cactus:

The church and alter:

A side door in the chapel leads out to the old cemetary which sets on a knoll overlooking freshly plowed fields. The last full-blooded Mutsun Indian is buried here -- she died in 1930. The Mutsun Indians lived in this area prior to Spanish occupation, in beehive shaped huts made of course grass and willows.

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