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San Diego California Missions

San Diego Missions Overview

San Diego

Spanish Missions in San Diego include San Luis Rey and San Diego. Spanish missions were built all along the California coast between 1769 and 1823 making them the oldest structures in California. The Spanish built them in their conquest to convert the indigenous people of California to Christianity and as strongholds for their newly claimed territories. Twenty-one Spanish missions can be found along the 'King's Highway' in California, which is now Highway 101 on the Central Coast and Interstate 5 in Southern California. They are the oldest structures in California. Most of the California Missions are still active churches with museums and gift shops. All have suffered earthquake or fire damage but very few have been left in a damaged state.

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San Diego California Missions

San Luis Rey is located off Highway 76 near the 5 in Oceanside. Founded on June 13, 1798 by Padre Fermin de Lasuen, it is the 18th and largest in California and referred to as the 'King of the Missions'. The grounds feature sunken gardens and arched colonnades. California's first peppercorn tree stands where it was originally planted by the Spanish in 1830. The gift shop also features local wines.

Mission San Luis Rey
San Luis, Rey de Francia
4050 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92057

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Mission San Diego de Alcala

The San Diego Mission is located near the intersection of the 8 and 15 freeways. Founded on July 16, 1769 by Padre Junipero Serra, this is the first in California. Originally built near Old Town San Diego and moved to its current, more fertile location. Remained for only five years before an Indian attack destroyed most of it. Today, it is restored to original condition.

Mission San Diego
San Diego de Alcala
10818 San Diego Mission Road
Mission Valley, CA 92108

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California Missions in Order

California Missions Map

Carmel MissionDolores MissionLompoc MissionSan Antonio MissionSan Diego MissionSan Fernando MissionSan Francisco MissionSan Gabriel MissionSan Jose MissionSan Juan Bautista MissionSan Juan Capistrano MissionSan Luis Obispo MissionSan Luis Rey MissionSan Miguel MissionSan Rafael MissionSanta Barbara MissionSanta Clara MissionSanta Cruz MissionSanta Inez MissionSoledad MissionVentura Mission
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