On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
Today we have the second entry in Bill’s “Mission” series. We saw the first one, Mission San Buenaventura, on April 1st. We’ll see the third one next week, and will be treated to the final one the week after that.
I don’t know about you, but the last photo below is the room that I would most like to hang out in. I feel more calm, just looking at it, picturing myself sitting there. ~WG
La Purisima Mission is different in several ways from the other missions in southern California. First, it’s in a rural setting about 4 miles northeast of Lompoc California. Second, it’s one of 2 of the 21 Spanish missions that is not still owned and operated by the Catholic church being instead a State Historical Park. Third, given it’s status as a historical park as opposed to a working church and it’s rural location and size, it recreates mission life of the early 1800’s with livestock (cows, horses, burros, and pigs) and less manicured though maintained landscape.
La Purisima was founded in 1787, originally a mile south of Lompoc (now the southern end of F Street with some ruins remaining) and moved here in the early 1800’s after an earthquake destroyed the original mission. This earthquake occurred on December 21, 1812 also destroyed the chapel at Mission Santa Barbara though was separate from the earthquake earlier in the month (December 8) that destroyed the Great Stone Church at San Juan Capistrano and the bell tower at Mission San Gabriel. The mission fell into disrepair after the missions were secularized in the 1830’s. Archaeological digs and restoration were undertaken in the 1930’s with most of the construction being done by the CCC. Many of the other missions have portions that are not open to the public, so rooms may have been repurposed for church business.
This may have been the first mission that I visited, but I would have been about 4 years old, so my recollections are a bit vague.
Pathway to the La Purisima mission cemetery on the left and main chapel to it’s right.
This IR photo captures the La Purisima Mission chapel at the left and one of the residential buildings at the right.
Horses graze in the pasture adjoining La Purisima Mission. They also have cows and pigs.
This is the altar in the main chapel at La Purisima Mission.
There is a small chapel for the priests and mission residents at La Purisima Mission. I’ve not seen this at other missions.
This is the priest’s library where the priests and guests of the mission could study.
This room was used to great guests arriving at La Purisima Mission.