Mission San Diego de Alcalá

The church façade of Mission San Diego de Alcalá
Plaque of the Mission San Diego de Alcala
The cattle brand used at Mission San Diego.
Natives utilize a primitive plow to prepare a field for planting near Mission San Diego de Alcalá.
A painting of Mission San Diego de Alcalá as it appeared in 1848 depicts the original campanario ("bell tower"), before it was reduced to rubble. The painting also shows the enclosed front portico.
The "Alemany Plat" prepared by the U.S. Land Surveyor's Office to define the property restored to the Catholic Church by the Public Land Commission, later confirmed by presidential proclamation on May 23, 1862.<ref>Engelhardt 1920, p. 346</ref>
President Abraham Lincoln's signature as it appeared on the United States Patent that restored the Mission property to the Catholic Church in 1862. This is one of the few documents that the President signed as "A. Lincoln" instead of his customary "Abraham Lincoln." <ref name="engelhardt348">Engelhardt 1920, p. 348</ref>
Mission San Diego de Alcalá as it stood circa 1900. Note the missing Campanario, and the exposed church, which fell into disrepair.
Aerial view of the Mission, 2011

The first Franciscan mission in The Californias, a province of New Spain.

- Mission San Diego de Alcalá
The church façade of Mission San Diego de Alcalá

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San Diego

Major city in the U.S. state of California on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and immediately adjacent to the Mexican border.

Major city in the U.S. state of California on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and immediately adjacent to the Mexican border.

The Kumeyaay, also known as the Diegueño, have inhabited the area of San Diego for thousands of years.
San Diego's namesake is the 15th-century Spanish saint Didacus of Alcalá.
José María Estudillo served as commandant of the Presidio of San Diego and founded the Estudillo family, a powerful San Diego clan of Californios.
The 1846 Battle of San Pasqual was a decisive battle between American and Californio forces during the U.S. Conquest of California.
The namesake of Horton Plaza, Alonzo Horton developed "New Town," which became Downtown San Diego.
Balboa Park on the cover of a guidebook for the World Exposition of 1915
Satellite view of San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico
Mission Valley facing Northwest, taken from Arista Street. Mission Bay can be seen in the distance.
Normal Heights, a neighborhood of San Diego
San Diego skyline, seen in January 2021
Surfers at Pacific Beach
Coastal canyon in Torrey Pines State Reserve
San Diego viewed against the Witch Creek Fire smoke
Map of racial distribution in San Diego, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people:
A U.S. Navy vice admiral and an intelligence specialist celebrating Hispanic American Heritage Month in San Diego
USS Midway museum ship
F/A-18 Hornet flying over San Diego and the USS John C. Stennis
View on Harbor Drive
Downtown San Diego, as seen from Coronado Island
Qualcomm corporate headquarters
Official portrait of Mayor Todd Gloria
San Diego City Council chambers
San Diego Police Department car in the city center
San Diego State University's Hepner Hall
University of California, San Diego's Geisel Library, named for Theodor Seuss Geisel ("Dr. Seuss")
The Museum of Us
Petco Park, home of the Padres since 2004
I-5 looking south toward downtown San Diego
View of Coronado and San Diego from the air
Cross Border Xpress bridge from the terminal in San Diego on the right to the main terminal of Tijuana Airport on the left

The Presidio and Mission San Diego de Alcalá, founded in 1769, formed the first European settlement in what is now California.

A view of Mission San Juan Capistrano. At left is the façade of the first adobe church with its added espadaña; behind the campanario, or "bell wall" is the "Sacred Garden." The Mission has earned a reputation as the "Loveliest of the Franciscan Ruins."

Spanish missions in California

Now the U.S. state of California.

Now the U.S. state of California.

A view of Mission San Juan Capistrano. At left is the façade of the first adobe church with its added espadaña; behind the campanario, or "bell wall" is the "Sacred Garden." The Mission has earned a reputation as the "Loveliest of the Franciscan Ruins."
The Missionaries as They Came and Went. Franciscans of the California missions donned gray habits, in contrast to the brown that is typically worn today.
Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, circa 1910. This mission is architecturally distinctive because of the strong Moorish lines exhibited.
A drawing of Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo prepared by Captain George Vancouver depicts the grounds as they appeared in November 1792. From A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World.
An illustration depicts the death of the Rev. Luís Jayme by angry natives at Mission San Diego de Alcalá, November 4, 1775. The independence uprising was the first of a dozen similar incidents that took place in Alta California during the Mission Period; however, most rebellions tended to be localized and short-lived due to the Spaniards' superior weaponry (native resistance more often took the form of non-cooperation (in forced labor), return to their homelands (desertion of forced relocation), and raids on mission livestock).
Georg von Langsdorff, an early visitor to California, sketched a group of Costeño dancers at Mission San José in 1806. "The hair of these people is very coarse, thick, and stands erect; in some it is powdered with down feathers," Langsdorff noted. "Their bodies are fantastically painted with charcoal dust, red clay, and chalk. The foremost dancer is ornamented all over with down feathers, which gives him a monkey-like appearance; the hindermost has had the whimsical idea of painting his body to imitate the uniform of a Spanish soldier, with his boots, stockings, breeches, and upper garments."
"Ya Viene El Alba" ("The Dawn Already Comes"), typical of the hymns sung at the missions.
A view of the Catalan forges at Mission San Juan Capistrano, the oldest existing facilities (circa 1790s) of their kind in the State of California. The sign at the lower right-hand corner proclaims the site as being "...part of Orange County's first industrial complex."
Natives utilize a primitive plow to prepare a field for planting near Mission San Diego de Alcalá.
Mission Santa Barbara's lavandería was constructed by Chumash neophytes around 1806.
The first recorded baptisms in Alta California were performed in "The Canyon of the Little Christians."
Captain Fernando Rivera y Moncada violated ecclesiastical asylum at Mission San Diego de Alcalá on March 26, 1776 when he forcibly removed a 'neophyte' in direct defiance of the padres. Missionary Pedro Font later described the scene: "...Rivera entered the chapel with drawn sword...con la espada desnuda en la mano." Rivera y Moncada was subsequently excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church for his actions.
Pablo Tac, who lived at Mission San Luis Rey in the 1820s and 1830s, penned this drawing depicting two young men wearing skirts of twine and feathers with feather decorations on their heads, rattles in their hands, and (perhaps) painted decorations on their bodies.
Illuminated choir missals on display at Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in 1913.
Hugo Reid, an outspoken critic of the mission system and its effects on the native populations, at Rancho Santa Anita circa 1850.
The horse and mule trail known as El Camino Real as of 1821 and the locations of the 21 Franciscan missions in Alta California.
El Presidio Real de Santa Bárbara
Mission San Juan Bautista, located in San Juan Bautista.
The courtyard of Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, with California's oldest pepper tree (Schinus molle), planted in 1830, visible through the arch.
Misión San Juan de Capistrano by Henry Chapman Ford, 1880. The work depicts the rear of the "Great Stone Church" and part of the mission's campo santo.
Mission La Purísima Concepción, located northeast of Lompoc.
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, located south of Soledad.
Mission San Antonio de Padua, located northwest of Jolon.
Mission Santa Barbara, located in Santa Barbara.
Mission San Buenaventura, located in Ventura.
Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, located south of Carmel.
Mission Santa Clara de Asís, located in Santa Clara.
Scale replica of Mission Santa Cruz chapel, located in Santa Cruz.
Mission San Diego de Alcalá, located in San Diego.
Mission San Fernando Rey de España, located in Mission Hills (Los Angeles).
Mission San Francisco de Asís, located in San Francisco.
Mission San Francisco Solano, located in Sonoma.
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, located in San Gabriel.
Mission Santa Inés, located in Solvang.
Mission San José, located in Fremont.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, located in San Juan Capistrano.
Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, located in San Luis Obispo.
Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, located in Oceanside.
Mission San Miguel Arcángel, located in San Miguel.
Mission San Rafael Arcángel, located in San Rafael.

In September 1821, the Rev. Mariano Payeras, "Comisario Prefecto" of the California missions, visited Cañada de Santa Ysabel east of Mission San Diego de Alcalá as part of a plan to establish an entire chain of inland missions.

Anthony Pico, former chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay

Kumeyaay

Tribe of Indigenous peoples of the Americas who live at the northern border of Baja California in Mexico and the southern border of California in the United States.

Tribe of Indigenous peoples of the Americas who live at the northern border of Baja California in Mexico and the southern border of California in the United States.

Anthony Pico, former chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay
Engraving by Arthur Carl Victor Schott, Sorony & Co., 1857
Kumeyaay were displaced to construct the El Capitan Reservoir
Barona Resort Hotel
Valle de Guadalupe, B.C.
Kumeyaay items
Frame of an ‘ewaa
Kumeyaay coiled basket, woven by Celestine Lachapa, 19th century, San Diego Museum of Us
Kumeyaay willow storage basket at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California cultural museum, Mexicali

After their recovery, the Spanish established a presidio over the village and the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, incorporating the village into the settlement of San Diego.

A map produced in 1850

El Camino Real (California)

600-mile (965-kilometer) commemorative route connecting the 21 Spanish missions in California (formerly Alta California), along with a number of sub-missions, four presidios, and three pueblos.

600-mile (965-kilometer) commemorative route connecting the 21 Spanish missions in California (formerly Alta California), along with a number of sub-missions, four presidios, and three pueblos.

A map produced in 1850
A historical marker situated along El Camino Real
Mission San Miguel as seen from the road while driving the "commemorative route" of the Camino Real
Alhambra station along Mission Road in Alhambra in 1973
Stretch of El Camino Real at Rios-Caledonia Adobe San Miguel.

Sometimes associated with Calle Real, its southern end is at Mission San Diego de Alcalá and its northern terminus is at Mission San Francisco Solano.

Aerial view of the stadium from the north side, 2005

San Diego Stadium

Multi-purpose stadium in San Diego, California.

Multi-purpose stadium in San Diego, California.

Aerial view of the stadium from the north side, 2005
Qualcomm Stadium logo (1997–2017)
Exterior of then-San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium in 1984
SDCCU Stadium logo (2017–2020)
Satellite view of then-Qualcomm Stadium in March 2003, with the trolley line at the bottom of the image.
A Padres game at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium in 1990, before upper deck expansion.
An NFL Chargers playoff game in 2007
Interior of then-Qualcomm Stadium before a SDSU Aztecs football game
The stadium being used as an evacuation center during California wildfires of October 2007.
The stadium under demolition December 10, 2020
San Diego Stadium's demolition as of March 10, 2021

The neighborhood surrounding the stadium is known as Mission Valley, in reference to the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, which is located to the east, and its placement in the valley of the San Diego River.

A portrait of Serra

Junípero Serra

Spanish Roman Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Order.

Spanish Roman Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Order.

A portrait of Serra
Serra's birthplace in Petra on the island of Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands.
Memorial to Serra's baptism at the Church of Sant Pere de Petra.
Monument to Serra in Palma de Mallorca.
Serra monument in Jalpan de Serra, a city named after Serra in Querétaro, Mexico.
Serra founded the five Missions of the Sierra Gorda in Querétaro, Mexico between 1750-60. (Santa María del Agua de Landa pictured).
Azulejos depicting the Sierra Gorda Missions, which Serra founded between 1750-60.
Engraving depicting Serra's as an evangelizer from 1787.
Plaque honoring Serra at Mission San Miguel Concá in Arroyo Seco, Querétaro.
Plaza de Junípero Serra in Petra, Mallorca, Spain.
Plaque at Serra's house in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Gaspar de Portolá's appointment as Governor of the Californias in 1767 coincided with Serra's appointment as chief of the missions in the Californias.
Monument to Serra in Querétaro City.
Serra prepared his evangelizing mission of Alta California at Mission Loreto, in Baja California, in 1768-9.
A statue of Serra by Douglas Tilden formerly installed in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco before it was removed during the George Floyd protests.
The Junípero Serra Museum at the Presidio of San Diego, California.
Statue of Junipero Serra at Mission San Diego de Alcalá.
Illustration of Serra celebrating as the resupply ships the San Antonio and the San Carlos arrive at San Diego Bay on March 19, 1770.
Monument marking the landing place of Serra in Monterey, California.
Father Serra Celebrates Mass at Monterey; painting by Léon Trousset, 1877.
The Vizcaíno-Serra Oak, in Monterey, where Sebastián Vizcaíno celebrated mass in 1602 and Serra celebrated mass in 1770.
Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded by Serra in 1769, as the first of the California missions.
Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Río Caramelo, where Serra died, was founded in 1770.
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, founded in 1771.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776.
Mission San Francisco de Asís, founded in 1776.
Statue of Junípero Serra by Ettore Cadorin is one of two statues representing California in the National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.
The Serra statue at the Presidio of Monterey was decapitated in 2015, but later repaired.
The Father Serra statue in Ventura, California
Statue of Junípero Serra at Mission Santa Inés.
Serra's coffin at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.
Saint Junípero Serra's grave in Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Serra's cenotaph at Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo.
Architectural medallion venerating Serra at Balboa Park in San Diego.
Statue at Junípero Serra High School in San Mateo.
St. Junípero Church in Camarillo.
Statue at Mission San Francisco de Asís.
Statue in Querétaro City.
Plaque at St. Mary's College of California.

On July 16, 1769, Serra founded mission San Diego in honor of Didacus of Alcalá in a simple shelter on Presidio Hill serving as a temporary church.

San Diego de Alcalá by Francisco de Zurbarán

Didacus of Alcalá

Spanish Franciscan lay brother who served as among the first group of missionaries to the newly conquered Canary Islands.

Spanish Franciscan lay brother who served as among the first group of missionaries to the newly conquered Canary Islands.

San Diego de Alcalá by Francisco de Zurbarán
Saint Didacus in Ecstasy Before the Cross by Murillo, 1645–46
The Miracle of Didacus of Alcalá by Bernardo Strozzi
Side altar and icon of San Diego de Alcalá in San Diego de Alcala Church, Philippines, dedicated to him
The monk automaton exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2020.

Didacus is the saint to whom the Franciscan mission that bears his name, and which developed into the City of San Diego, California, was dedicated.

Pre-contact Acjachemen built cone-shaped huts made of willow branches covered with brush or mats made of tule leaves. Known as Kiichas (or wikiups), the temporary shelters were utilized for sleeping or as refuge in cases of inclement weather. When a dwelling reached the end of its practical life it was simply burned, and a replacement erected in its place in about a day's time.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Spanish mission in San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, California.

Spanish mission in San Juan Capistrano, Orange County, California.

Pre-contact Acjachemen built cone-shaped huts made of willow branches covered with brush or mats made of tule leaves. Known as Kiichas (or wikiups), the temporary shelters were utilized for sleeping or as refuge in cases of inclement weather. When a dwelling reached the end of its practical life it was simply burned, and a replacement erected in its place in about a day's time.
A plan view of the Mission San Juan Capistrano complex (including the footprint of the "Great Stone Church") prepared by architectural historian Rexford Newcomb in 1916.
Artist Rexford Newcomb's conception of Mission San Juan Capistrano in its heyday. The intact "Great Stone Church" is depicted at the far right. No contemporary drawing or painting of the Mission was ever completed.
A close-up view of the ruins of Mission San Juan Capistrano's "Great Stone Church," dubbed by architects the "American Acropolis" in reference to its classical Greco-Roman style. "The most important and pretentious building of the whole Mission period ..." was modeled after the Byzantine cathedrals scattered throughout Europe and Western Asia.
Misión San Juan de Capistrano by Henry Chapman Ford, 1880. The work depicts the rear of the ruined "Great Stone Church" as well as part of the mission's campo santo. A portion of "Serra's Church" is also visible at right. Oil on canvas.
The sanctuary in "Serra's Chapel" (the former "sala") as it looked prior to its being enlarged in 1922. The building is the only extant structure wherein it has been documented that Serra celebrated Mass, and is the oldest building in California in continuous use.
Mission San Juan Capistrano, photochrom print by William Henry Jackson c. 1899
José Mut's dining room as it is thought to have looked during his twenty-year stay at the mission. Some years later, furniture maker and architect Gustav Stickley (the leading spokesperson for the American Arts and Crafts movement) developed a reputation for fine, hand-crafted furnishings that were inspired by pieces such as these.
The Soldiers Barracks exhibit
The partially restored plaza at Mission San Juan Capistrano as it appeared around 1896. To the right is the sala, which served as the Mission chapel from 1891 until Serra's chapel was restored in the mid-1920s; the building also housed the Forster family during their time at the Mission. Just left of center is Mut's former residence, including the loft he had constructed.
Bells at the mission
Outer wall - reinforcing rods
The cattle brand used at Mission San Juan Capistrano, as registered with the U.S. Land Surveyor's Office in San Francisco.
A view of the Catalan forges at Mission San Juan Capistrano, the oldest existing facilities (1790s) of their kind in the State of California. The sign at the lower right-hand corner proclaims the site as being "...part of Orange County's first industrial complex."
Olive millstone and site of Olive Mill
A view of Mission San Juan Capistrano's "Sacred Garden" that was developed in 1920. The four-bell campanario was erected a year after the bell tower at "The Great Stone Church" was toppled in the 1812 earthquake. It is a great little bell!
A crate label for Mission Bells Brand fruit depicts the ringing of the bells at Mission San Juan Capistrano.
The "Golden Altar", an early Baroque-style retablo (altarpiece) situated at the north-end sanctuary of "Father Serra's Church".
St. John O'Sullivan spends time in Mission San Juan Capistrano's "Sacred Garden".
Mary Pickford's Wedding by American artist Charles Percy Austin. Oil on canvas.
Statue of Junípero Serra in the Mission.
The "Alemany Plat" prepared by the U.S. Land Surveyor's Office to define the property restored to the Catholic Church by the Public Land Commission, later confirmed by presidential proclamation on March 18, 1865.<ref>Engelhardt 1922, p. 167: The document was recorded on December 15, 1875, by the County Recorder of Los Angeles at the request of the Right Reverend Bishop T. Amat.</ref>
Father Serra Church at the mission (2019)
Entrance - Father Serra's Church
Left wall detail - Father Serra's Church
A postcard image of San Juan Capistrano's once-prized California pepper tree, formerly a focal point of the Mission gardens.
An 1894 painting by Frederick Behre features a wildly improbable steeple over the entrance of San Juan Capistrano's "Great Stone Church" (it was incorrectly believed to portray the way the church looked before the 1812 earthquake; archaeological excavations in 1938 revealed that the steeple placement as shown in the painting was impossible).<ref name="stern92">Stern and Miller, p. 92</ref> The landscape in the background of this painting was later modified by John Gutzon Borglum.<ref>Stern and Miller, p. 95</ref> Watercolor and gouache.
An overall view of the "Mission of the Swallow" around the time of St. John O'Sullivan's arrival in 1910. The Mission's once-renowned California pepper tree can be seen just to the left of the adobe church's espadaña.
Clerical historian Zephyrin Engelhardt, O.F.M. visited Mission San Juan Capistrano numerous times, beginning in 1915.
This 1921 view of the Mission San Juan Capistrano complex documents the restoration work that was already well underway by that time. The perimeter garden wall (including the ornate entranceway) and adjacent outbuilding are 1917 additions.
A Moorish-style fountain inside Mission San Juan Capistrano's central courtyard, built in the 1920s through the efforts of St. John O'Sullivan.
Mary Astor and Gilbert Roland starred in George Fitzmaurice's 1927 motion picture Rose of the Golden West, shot on location on the Mission grounds.<ref>Hallan-Gibson, p. 73</ref> The film's penultimate scene (shown here) is set amidst the ruins of "The Great Stone Church."
A plot plan and perspective view of Mission San Juan Capistrano as prepared by the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1937.

In early 1775, Don Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa, Viceroy of New Spain, authorized the establishment of a mission at a logical halfway point between Mission San Diego de Alcalá and Mission San Gabriel Arcángel.

Portrait of Gálvez, 1785

José de Gálvez, 1st Marquess of Sonora

Spanish lawyer and Visitador general (inspector general) in New Spain (1764–1772); later appointed to the Council of the Indies (1775–1787).

Spanish lawyer and Visitador general (inspector general) in New Spain (1764–1772); later appointed to the Council of the Indies (1775–1787).

Portrait of Gálvez, 1785
Engraving of Gálvez
Archive of the Indies in Seville, founded by Gálvez in the reign of Charles III

The expedition founded the Mission San Diego de Alcalá and the Royal Presidio of San Diego in July 1769 at San Diego.

An illustration depicts the killing of Father Luis Jayme by Kumeyaay warriors at Mission San Diego de Alcalá, November 4, 1775.

Luis Jayme

Spanish-born Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order.

Spanish-born Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order.

An illustration depicts the killing of Father Luis Jayme by Kumeyaay warriors at Mission San Diego de Alcalá, November 4, 1775.

Jayme was assigned to Mission San Diego de Alcalá, where his earliest efforts were devoted to mastering the complexities of the local Kumeyaay language.