Learn California.org
Home Visit the Students section Visit the Teachers section Visit the Research California section Visit the Sitemap
Keyword Search

Mission Photos
Larson Collection 

<= Missions in Decline

Mission Revival =>



Click on a thumbnail to view an enlarged copy of the image, then click on the BACK button to return to this page.

Mission Santa Barbara. The image shows the stone church and front wing of the original quadrangle of Mission Santa Barbara in the late nineteenth century. Established in 1786, Santa Barbara was never abandoned by the Catholic Church, although the grounds underwent considerable changes over the decades.  The outbuildings and much of the quadrangles disappeared. The remaining portions saw many uses, including a boarding college and seminary.

Mission Santa Barbara

The image shows the stone church and front wing of the original quadrangle of Mission Santa Barbara in the late nineteenth century. Established in 1786, Santa Barbara was never abandoned by the Catholic Church, although the grounds underwent considerable changes over the decades. The outbuildings and much of the quadrangles disappeared. The remaining portions saw many uses, including a boarding college and seminary.

San Francisco de Asis (Dolores). The image shows the facade of Mission San Francisco de Asis in the late nineteenth century.  Known popularly as Mission Dolores, it was established in 1776.  Eventually the booming city of San Francisco surrounded the old mission.  By 1900 all of the quadrangle and outbuildings had disappeared, leaving only the church and cemetery.  The building survived the earthquake and fire of 1906, and is the oldest building in San Francisco.

San Francisco de Asis (Dolores)

The image shows the facade of Mission San Francisco de Asis in the late nineteenth century. Known popularly as Mission Dolores, it was established in 1776. Eventually the booming city of San Francisco surrounded the old mission. By 1900 all of the quadrangle and outbuildings had disappeared, leaving only the church and cemetery. The building survived the earthquake and fire of 1906, and is the oldest building in San Francisco.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. The image shows the front of Mission San Luis Obispo in the late nineteenth century. Established in 1772, the mission complex underwent many changes after secularization. An arched front portico and belfry and front colonnade were removed.  The church and most of the front wing of the quadrangle were encased in wooden siding during the 1880s. This helped to preserve the structures. The New England style belfry also appeared during this time.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa

The image shows the front of Mission San Luis Obispo in the late nineteenth century. Established in 1772, the mission complex underwent many changes after secularization. An arched front portico and belfry and front colonnade were removed. The church and most of the front wing of the quadrangle were encased in wooden siding during the 1880s. This helped to preserve the structures. The New England style belfry also appeared during this time.

Mission San Buenaventura (Ventura). The massive adobe church at Mission Mission San Buenaventura as it appeared in the late nineteenth century. By the time of this photograph, the church was the only building remaining from the mission complex.  The original tile roof had been removed and replaced by wood shingles.

Mission San Buenaventura (Ventura)

The massive adobe church at Mission Mission San Buenaventura as it appeared in the late nineteenth century. By the time of this photograph, the church was the only building remaining from the mission complex. The original tile roof had been removed and replaced by wood shingles.


Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana. The upper image shows the church at Mission San Fernando being visited by a group of tourists in the late nineteenth century. The mission was established in 1797.  This view clearly shows the great beams, or <emp>vigas</emp>, that support the now absent ceiling and roof.  The image on the lower shows the tour group waiting to enter the<emp>convento</emp> at Mission San Fernando. This building survived much better than did the church.  A woman appears to be sketching the scene.

Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana

The upper image shows the church at Mission San Fernando being visited by a group of tourists in the late nineteenth century. The mission was established in 1797. This view clearly shows the great beams, or vigas, that support the now absent ceiling and roof. The image on the lower shows the tour group waiting to enter theconvento at Mission San Fernando. This building survived much better than did the church. A woman appears to be sketching the scene.


Mission San Luis Luis Obispo de Tolosa and Mission San Buenaventura (Ventura). This image shows the detail of the front wing of the quadrangle at Mission San Luis Obispo in the late nineteenth century.  The lower image shows the interior of Mission San Buenaventura in the late nineteenth century.  Established in 1782, the mission church survived secularization.  By the time of this photograph a wooden floor and ceiling had been added.  The benches and pews are also a later addition.  During the mission era worshippers knelt on the tile floor.  Wall decorations by native artists and the ornate pulpit, later removed, are still present.

Mission San Luis Luis Obispo de Tolosa and Mission San Buenaventura (Ventura)

This image shows the detail of the front wing of the quadrangle at Mission San Luis Obispo in the late nineteenth century. The lower image shows the interior of Mission San Buenaventura in the late nineteenth century. Established in 1782, the mission church survived secularization. By the time of this photograph a wooden floor and ceiling had been added. The benches and pews are also a later addition. During the mission era worshippers knelt on the tile floor. Wall decorations by native artists and the ornate pulpit, later removed, are still present.


Mission San Luis Rey de Francia. The image shows the front of the great church at San Luis Rey in the late nineteenth century.  Called “The King of the Mission,” San Luis Rey had six-foot thick walls and tile columns.  These, plus the fact that its height discouraged theft of roof tiles, helped preserve the interior with its extensive wall decoration painted by native artists.

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia

The image shows the front of the great church at San Luis Rey in the late nineteenth century. Called “The King of the Mission,” San Luis Rey had six-foot thick walls and tile columns. These, plus the fact that its height discouraged theft of roof tiles, helped preserve the interior with its extensive wall decoration painted by native artists.


Mission San Juan Capistrano. The image shows the quadrangle of the former Mission San Juan Capistrano.  Founded in 1776, San Juan Capistrano within twenty years had attracted thousands of native peoples to its vicinity. To serve this strong, the priests and their Indian workers completed a massive stone church in 1806. Six years later, however, an earthquake destroyed the building, and the mission entered a long period of decline. By the end of the nineteenth century, the most of the buildings that comprised the quadrangle had collapsed, leaving their arches as a romantic reminder of the mission's former prosperity.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

The image shows the quadrangle of the former Mission San Juan Capistrano. Founded in 1776, San Juan Capistrano within twenty years had attracted thousands of native peoples to its vicinity. To serve this strong, the priests and their Indian workers completed a massive stone church in 1806. Six years later, however, an earthquake destroyed the building, and the mission entered a long period of decline. By the end of the nineteenth century, the most of the buildings that comprised the quadrangle had collapsed, leaving their arches as a romantic reminder of the mission's former prosperity.


Mission San Diego de Alcala. Established in 1769 at the Presidio of San Diego above San Diego Bay, the mission was moved six miles inland five years later.  Mission San Diego did not fare well after secularization.  The adobe buildings quickly melted back into the earth, and by the turn of the twentieth century all that remained was the deteriorating priests' quarters, or <emp>convento</emp>, along the front of the mission and the church building that was itself beginning to crumble.  The photographs on were taken in the late nineteenth century show San Diego's Old Town, the pueblo that developed at the base of Presidio Hill, and the mission in ruins.

Mission San Diego de Alcala

Established in 1769 at the Presidio of San Diego above San Diego Bay, the mission was moved six miles inland five years later. Mission San Diego did not fare well after secularization. The adobe buildings quickly melted back into the earth, and by the turn of the twentieth century all that remained was the deteriorating priests' quarters, or convento, along the front of the mission and the church building that was itself beginning to crumble. The photographs on were taken in the late nineteenth century show San Diego's Old Town, the pueblo that developed at the base of Presidio Hill, and the mission in ruins.


Mission San Luis Rey de Francia and Mission San Juan Capistrano. The image depicts Mission San Luis Rey, located north of San Diego, the mission was founded in 1798.  After secularization, the adjacent buildings succumbed to the ravages of time and weather, but because of its size, the church remained largely intact. The lower image shows “California's most romantic ruin,” the remains of the great stone church at San Juan Capistrano. The building collapsed in an earthquake in 1812, and was never rebuilt.

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia and Mission San Juan Capistrano

The image depicts Mission San Luis Rey, located north of San Diego, the mission was founded in 1798. After secularization, the adjacent buildings succumbed to the ravages of time and weather, but because of its size, the church remained largely intact. The lower image shows "California's most romantic ruin," the remains of the great stone church at San Juan Capistrano. The building collapsed in an earthquake in 1812, and was never rebuilt.



Go to Missions in Decline
Go to Mission Revival


Copyright ©2000-2009 LearnCalifornia.org. All rights reserved.