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A Look at California Mission San Miguel

California was originally colonized by Spain. First came explorers, then came the soldiers, and not far behind the soldiers came the missionaries. The first group of of soldiers accompanied by Franciscan missionaries came to Alta California (the part above Mexico) in 1769. The priests were led by Father Junipero Serra, now known as the father of California missions. I live very  close to two of those missions, Mission San Luis Obispo and Mission San Miguel Arcangel. In this gallery I will focus on Mission San Miguel.

Unlike some of the California missions I have visited, Mission San Miguel Archangel is a very peaceful place. Although it’s very close to Highway 101, visitors hardly notice the freeway. I did not notice any commercial areas next to the mission.

In this gallery I will show you some of my favorite photos of Mission San Miguel. I took all of them and they may not be used without my written permission by anyone else.

Sign that You’ve Arrived at Mission San Miguel Arcangel

The scene in the photo above is the first thing many people see as they approach the mission, a sign. In the distance you can see the bell tower. 

  1. How many mission were or still are between you and me? Remember I am right next to San Luis Rey de Francia. I am so glad you chose to post these. I haven’t been to this one.

    • There are six between yours and San Miguel. I don’t think I’ve been to yours, though I’ve been to Capistrano and San Diego. We visited a very small historic church I thought was a mission when we were in the area of Julian or San Diego after we had camped somewhere in that area. (It’s hard remembering back to 1989.) I can’t seem to find it on the mission list. We didn’t get much further in than the cemetery. I don’t think it was open when we were there. Now it’s driving me nuts trying to remember what it was. I’ll have to go back through the old photo albums of that trip.

      • Six, well that makes sense. So it would take about a week to walk up there.
        Okay, now you have me wondering. I can’t remember the small church either. I did spend some time in that graveyard on the hill.. I do need to go back up there soon when it warms up a bit more. If you do find the pictures, post them!

The Mission Main Entrance

This is my husband, standing under the arch of the entrance to San Miguel Mission. In the background is a statue of Father Serra. 

The Mission Courtyard and Church

This is the mission courtyard. As you can see, most of the plants are cacti. You can also see how rural the area around the mission is. The mission church, which still holds services, is in the background. It was closed for a long time after what locals call the San Simeon earthquake in 2003. I experienced that earthquake. It killed two people in Paso Robles. It also damaged this mission and many other structures in Paso Robles and Atascadero. 

Another View of the Courtyard and Church

This is another view of the courtyard closer to the church. 

The Olive Press, View 1

This is the mission olive press near the entrance. In the background you can see the oven where those in the mission baked their bread. 

    • I’m not sure where your mission is. I can’t remember if the others I visited had an olive press on display or not. I’ll bet most missions used to have them, even if they may be gone now, unless their climate was different enough that olive trees did not grow at the mission. I don’t remember if I included it in the photos here, but there is also an olive tree at the mission. And I’ll bet it’s bearing now, as are most of the olive trees around here.

Olive Press, View 2

This is another view of the olive press. The sign reminds us that we live in the modern world and that people are not to use skateboards or rollerblades on the mission grounds. 

The Fountain

The fountain is also in the courtyard. 

Mission Church Interior

Part of the church interior at Mission San Miguel. It's what you see if you enter from the side door, as I did. 

Mission Outdoor Chapel

An outdoor chapel at Mission San Miguel. 

In the San Miguel Graveyard

This cemetery was one of the plainest I've ever been in. Very few of the graves are marked. Both Indians and missionaries are buried here, along with a few others. 

Although I have many more photos,  I won't put them all in this post. I don't like to make multi-page posts. I will focus on other parts of the mission in future posts. 

What do you think?

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