Navigation for Mission San Antonio de Padua:
|The mission of San Antonio is situated in the
Sierra de Santa Lucía
... in a rather wide valley some ten leagues long
and full of large oaks, for which reason they call the mission San Antonio
de la Cañada de los Rohles.
The site is very good, with fine lands, and plentiful water from the
river which runs through this valley. ... In the range there is a great
abundance of oaks, live oaks, and pines, and consequently plenty of pinenuts
and acorns, for which reason the mission raises large numbers of hogs.
Diary of Padre Pedro Font, de Anza expedition,
6 March 1776
Picture taken 4:55pm 9 Mar 2005
Because of the surrounding Federal lands, this Mission setting looks very
much like it did when it was originally founded. The present site is the second
Mission in the area; the first being closer to the river but subject to flooding.
As you drive past the main Army area and onto the road to the Mission you effectively
go back in time. Drive slowly; there are a number of signs on the road into
the Mission which explain various aspects of history and Mission design. The
writing can only be read on the way in; the back sides of the signs are
As you approach the Mission itself the parking area is directly in front and
one of the first things you see is...
...the Hannon statue of Blessed
Serra directly in front of the mission. Don't forget to rub the toe
There are extensive grounds to wander around on at the mission. Just
be careful. There are instructions posted at the door of the mission
regarding what to do if a rattlesnake is encountered!
This tour page we'll just show the front of the Mission and leave
the grounds to another tour page.
Picture taken 4:30pm 22 Apr 2001
|Walking from the Hannon statue away from the Church you walk along the
front of the Mission. There are various displays to see and nice views
back toward the Mission Church. Stop at the well (the white rectangle in
the lower center of this picture) and then take a look at the ship mastheads
brought to the Mission by ship captains. A question remains about how or
why ship captains would visit this Mission since there is no harbor along
the coast anywhere near the Mission; if you go to the coast you will find
Picture taken 3:40pm 9 Mar 2005
At the end of the Mission turn and return via the outside shaded corridor.
If you need them, the restrooms are at this end of the corridor (under
that little hanging sign you see at the left edge of this picture). Walk
back to the Mission museum and gift shop about where the flag is in this
Plan to spend a fair amount of time in the Mission museum if you are
interested in the details of mission life and the various techniques
of making and working with wine, olive oil, tiles, lumber, etc. The museum
has an extensive and interesting collection of such items; many geared
toward educational use.
Picture taken 4:00pm 9 Mar 2005
Before going in, however, take another quick look at the front of the Mission
Church; in particular note the campanerio with the bells that sits apart from
(but connected to) the Church itself. This design is unique to this Mission.
The original façade was probably plain and the campanerio was added
at an unknown date. The three bells in the campanerio are shown below.
The center bell, in particular, is important at this Mission. It was cast
for this Mission and is the first Mission bell cast in California. It is 24-inches
in diameter and weighs some 500 pounds.
Proceed into the Museum