Friday, October 24, 2008

California Missions Tour: Prologue

Every 4th grader in California has to learn about the California missions. Spain, and later Mexico, controlled what is now the American state of California and allowed the Franciscans to establish 21 missions. Each mission was exactly one day's walk away from the next mission. The purpose of the missions was twofold. One, it converted the Native Americans into good God-fearing Catholics. Two, it legitimized and solidified Spain's control of Alta California. During the 18th and 19th century, before California gained statehood, the Americans, Spanish, British, and the Russians all had their eyes on the area.

In 2002, I had some spare time and decided to visit all of the missions. Since I never really exercised my Teutonic drei-liter, I decided to see them all in three days. Was I successful? What did I learn? What did I see? What should you pay special attention to when you go? Which mission was the best?


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