Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

On a Mission in San Diego

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By Cecil Scaglione

Mature Life Features

Played tourist at home this weekend and took the camera to visit Mission San Diego de Alcala.
It’s worth spending some time there, especially when you move from the busy front into the quieter and more spacious courtyard encapsulated by the Spanish-colonial structure housing a museum, priests’ quarters, chapel, and more (like public bathrooms). Happened upon a wedding in the parish that Franciscan Junipero Serra established in 1769 as the first of the 21 missions that form the spine of California.
The original Spanish settlement was where Old Town is now, below the Presidio tower on the hill that allowed settlers to get a strategic early view of any ships sailing into San Diego Bay.
The friars decided to move their neophyte native converts away from the lascivious soldiers so they moved the church and school about five miles up the San Diego River – the distance in which tolling bells could be heard.
Among the exhibits is a showcase of models of the missions stretching from here to north of San Francisco in the order in which they were founded. It’s a quick look at California’s early development.
While they were situated within a day’s march of each other – anywhere from about 30 to 50 miles – they weren’t founded in order from south to north. The next mission established after San Diego was in Carmel just south of San Francisco.
However, to follow El Camino Real (The King’s Highway) formed by the mission chain, drive up Highway 5 to the largest mission in the chain – Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. Next is San Juan Capistrano and then there’s…

Written by Cecil Scaglione

May 5, 2013 at 6:36 pm

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