Virtual Guidebook to El Camino Real
Mission San Juan Bautista
San Juan Bautista California


The Mission of San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist) was founded by Franciscan Father Fermin Lasuen in 1797. It prospered because of the surrounding rich agricultural and grazing land, and the originally large population of Indians. 4500 Indians are buried in the mission cemetery.

San Juan was the only California mission to have a triple-width nave, and has been in continuous use since its founding. It is unique among the California missions in the way the surrounding town has been preserved the way it was in Mexican days.

Alfred Hitchcock set a number of scenes in his movie "Vertigo" in San Juan, with the final vertiginous scene in the tower of the mission church. In reality, the tower did not exist and was a combination of special effects and a set on the studio back lot.



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Mission colonnade facing the plaza

(June 1, 2010)


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In the garden at Mission San Juan Bautista

(June 1, 2010)


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In the garden at Mission San Juan Bautista

(June 1, 2010)


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Giant text in a choir book in the museum

(June 1, 2010)


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In the church nave at Mission San Juan Bautista

(June 1, 2010)


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One of two side aisles flanking the nave at Mission San Juan Bautista

(June 1, 2010)


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Baptistery room with font at Mission San Juan Bautista

(June 1, 2010)


Next Locality: Fremont Peak State Park