I'm sharing a few Christmas photos today from Mission San Juan Capistrano, the oldest church in Orange County. Founded in 1776 -- a year you may remember for other reasons -- the Mission is today still a place of worship as well as an iconic touchstone of early California history. The image above is from the ruins of the Great Stone Church, which was largely demolished by an earthquake in 1812.
The photo above is from the Soldier's Barracks building. And the final image, below, is from the Serra Chapel (1782), the oldest still-functioning house of worship in California, and the only surviving church in which Father Serra actually said Mass. Even for a non-Catholic like myself, it's impossible to enter this relatively simple, mud-walled chapel without feeling you are in the presence of a higher power. It's a very special place to visit -- particularly during the holidays.
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