La Misión del Glorioso Precursor de Jesu Cristro, Nuestro Señor San Juan Bautista (The Mission of the Glorious Precursor of Jesus Christ, Our Lord San Juan Bautista)

An active Roman Catholic Church since 1797, now under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey. The existing adobe church has seen continuous use since 1812.

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San Juan Bautista was founded on June 24, 1797. This mission sits on the edge of the only remaining Spanish Plaza in California. Mission San Juan Bautista’s historic church (built in 1812), well-landscaped grounds and setting, offer a unique opportunity to see and appreciate the California of two centuries ago.
406 Second StreetOld Mission San Juan BautistaSan Juan Bautista, CA 95045United States

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Reached from Highway 101 or Highway 5. Detailed directions are available on the mission website.

This historic and exceptionally well-restored mission sits on the edge of the only remaining Spanish
A rectangular central public area. All of the Spanish pueblos (towns) and most of the missions included a plaza.

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San Juan Bautista Mission Entrance

Please contact the mission directly by telephone or by visiting the mission websitefor the most current information regarding tours and church services.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it is best to check for current information.


San Juan Bautista is a particularly popular wedding location and arrangements must be made at least six months in advance. As is the policy at all of the missions which are Catholic Churches, at least one member of the couple must be a baptized Catholic. Extensive marriage guidelines for San Juan Bautista are available onthe mission website.

Guidelines for the Baptism sacrament can also be found on the mission website.


Many of the California missions (including San Juan Bautista) were sited so that the sun rays from the winter and summer solstice illuminated the interior of the church. For details, visit the Solstice Chronicles website.Dr. Ruben Mendoza"s article "New Light on the California Missions" is an illuminating description of this special event.


San Juan Bautista is a particularly picturesque well-landscaped mission. The mission is located on the only original Spanish
A rectangular central public area. All of the Spanish pueblos (towns) and most of the missions included a plaza.
">Plaza left in California.The church, dedicated on June 23, 1812, has a two-tiered companario added during a 1976
">restoration.When you visit the church pay attention to the main altar reredos which were painted (and probably constructed) in 1818 by an Anglo-American carpenter named Thomas Doak. The
Raised platform in a church used for preaching. The sounding board or canopy over the pulpit is called the tornavoz in Spanish.
">pulpit, installed between 1812-1813, has a sounding board mounted overhead.The inner courtyard has inviting gardens, several important displays, and an area for picnicking.The museum rooms offer some of the best displays you will find in the mission chain. Be sure to visit the room dedicated to the Indians of the area (the Mutsons and subsequently the Yokuts in the 1820"s).
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San Juan Bautista Mission
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San Juan Bautista Side View of Mission
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Interior of the San Juan Bautista Church
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San Juan Bautista Church Pulpit

The Town of San Juan Bautista offers the best opportunity to see and appreciate 19th century California. There are about thirty (30) historic buildings in the 12-block area surrounding the
A rectangular central public area. All of the Spanish pueblos (towns) and most of the missions included a plaza.
">Plaza. These are part of the San Juan Bautista State Park. You will find lots of information about the park by visiting the CA Department of Parks and Recreation website.


This is a mission where you can spend more than several hours visiting the well-restored mission as well as the grounds and adjacent historic state park that offer additional "must see" attractions.

A statue of Saint John the Baptist Greeting the Sunrise located on the mission grounds honors the Saint for whom the mission is named.You can see part of the original
Technically, the “Royal Highway” a term used to designate the main road in a Spanish territory. In Alta California, El Camino Real was a dirt road that linked the missions and extended from San Diego to Sonoma. U.S. 101 roughly parallels El Camino Real.
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The formal burial grounds for the remains of the dead. Most of the mission cemeteries were sited adjacent to the mission church.
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Sun-dried bricks made of clay mined with straw and sometimes horse manure, then baked in the sun. Also refers to structures made of this material.
A rectangular central public area. All of the Spanish pueblos (towns) and most of the missions included a plaza.
">Plaza Hall as well as the former cuartel (Soldiers" barracks) retrofitted by Angelo Zanetta in 1858 as the
A rectangular central public area. All of the Spanish pueblos (towns) and most of the missions included a plaza.
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Statue of Saint John the Baptist
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San Juan Bautista The Mission Rooster
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Former Soldiers Barracks Now Plaza Hotel
Chief Religious Official in the mission territory, appointed by the apostolic college of which he was a member. After 1812, some of the responsibilities were taken over by a CommissaryPrefect.
Chief Religious Official in the mission territory, appointed by the apostolic college of which he was a member. After 1812, some of the responsibilities were taken over by a CommissaryPrefect.

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">President - Fr. Fermin Francisco de Lasuén Founding Missionaries - Fr. Pedro Martínez and Fr. José Martiarena Prominent Missionary Leader- Fr. Felipe del
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San Juan Bautista Fr. Fermin Francisco de Lasuén
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Four-sided enclosure. Most missions were laid out using a quadrangle design.
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Mission San Juan Bautista by W.H.T. Powell 1850
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San Juan Bautista Cattle Brand