Mission San Juan Bautista

Mission San Juan Bautista
The mission and plaza.

Located on a low hill overlooking the fertile San Juan Valley, Mission San Juan Bautista sits on a rising crustal block on the Pacific side of the San Andreas Fault. Since it was established in June of 1797, the mission has suffered damage from a variety of earthquakes. Shaking was said to be so severe in a 1798 earthquake that the missionaries slept outside for an entire month.

Mission San Juan Bautista
The mission church.

The layout of Mission San Juan Bautista and the Plaza area is typical of an old Spanish community design. A covered corridor of 20 arches decorates the front facade of the white-washed stucco mission. The rustic wood doors throughout the complex have a simple, down-to-earth style. There’s nothing fancy here.

Mission San Juan Bautista Door
The door to the mission church.
San Juan Bautista Arches
Arches along the mission’s covered portico.

Something I recently learned – the San Juan Bautista Mission was featured in the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock thriller, “Vertigo.”

Despite its “shaky” history with earthquakes and association with the Hitchcock thriller, today, Mission San Juan Bautista has a calm, peaceful atmosphere. It’s one of my favorite places to bring friends and family when they visit the Bay Area.


Inspiration: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Arch, Dome or Half Circle and Thursday Doors.

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Dan Antion says:

    Nothing wrong with plain and simple – the place is beautiful.

    1. Thanks, Dan. Plain and simple works for me. Sometimes less is more.

  2. Ally Bean says:

    Lovely doors juxtaposed against those arches. I feel calmer just looking at those photos.

    1. I’m glad you liked them, Ally. Calm is a good feeling. 🙂

  3. jesh stg says:

    it just occurred to me that you have the same blog theme as I! Looking lovely:) It fits so well with the kind of captures you have:)

    1. Thanks, Jesh. Yours looks lovely as well.

  4. lexklein says:

    The simpler, the better sometimes. Very soothing-looking place!

    1. So true. It’s the simplicity of the mission and town that draws me back there time and time again. Plus, the town has some fabulous Mexican restaurants. 🙂

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