Wednesday, October 7, 2020

MISSION BASILICA SAN DIEGO DE ALCALA - PART 1

 This is from an old post several years ago.  We were on a road trip and stopped at the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, California's first mission founded by Friar Junipero Serra on July 16th, 1769.

Friar Junipero Serra was a priest in the Franciscan order of the Catholic Church, and a driving force in the Spanish conquest and colonization of what is now the state of California.  He was born into a humble family on the Spanish island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Ocean.  His parents sent him to a nearby Franciscan school, and his intellectual abilities soon caught the attention of his teachers.  At the age of fifteen he enrolled in a prominent Franciscan school in the nearby city of Palma.  The next year he became a novice in the Franciscan order, and shortly thereafter was ordained a priest.pero Serra.  I found the information above from his biography at this website, where there is a lot more information on his life.

You can read a full history of the Mission if you go here and an article written here.
A nearby marker told us about the façade. It read: "As a result of the Indian attack of 1775, Padre Serra returned during the summer of 1776 to initiate the reconstruction of Mission San Diego. The church and buildings were rebuilt and the Mission flourished for a number of years.

Earthquakes of the early 1800's destroyed most of the adobe buildings and church. The structures were rebuilt and the buttress wings were added in 1812 to strengthen the façade of the church. By the early 1920's, portions of the walls adjoining the buttresses, the campanario (bell tower) and the baptistry were the only walls that remained standing.
The doors are replicas made of redwood and the carvings are taken from actual designs that were on the original doors. The emblem over the door is the papal insignia and signifies that Mission San Diego is a minor basilica. This honor was bestowed on the Mission by Pope Paul VI in 1976.
The statues in the niches along the corridor (a few of those saints are shown in a mosaic further along the post) represent the nine missions founded by Padre Serra, in chronological order. 
Each statue represents the saint for whom that mission was named."
Inside I was struck by its beauty. As you can see we are looking towards the Altar....
and in the following photo we are looking in the opposite direction which shows where we entered.



















Added note 10-11-20: I had a couple of comments from blogging friends asking about these photos of the Virgin Mary.  The first comment was from Sandi who asked about the head at the bottom of her feet.  The second comment came from Great-Granny Grandma. Their questions peaked my interest and I found this page online with more information.  I thought I should add it to my post.   Thank you to both Sandi and Great-Granny Grandma for sowing that seed for me to learn more.

What I learned was the head at her feet was actually an angel supporting her. You can read about the symbolism in the following link, which is a repeat of the one above.

http://www.olgaustin.org/symbolism.shtml

I also found a paragraph that reads:

"The angel supporting the Lady testifies to her royalty. To the Meso-American Indians only kings, queens and other dignitaries would be carried on the shoulders of someone. The angel is transporting the Lady to the people as a sign that a new age has come."

In my next post I will share the garden.







48 comments:

  1. The mission is just gorgeous! It is very well kept up. I think my favorite is all those bells.

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    1. The bells are lovely aren't they? Thanks Ginny :)

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  2. Inside the church is lovely to see.
    Enjoyed reading..thanks for sharing.

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  3. Hello Denise,
    What a beautiful mission. I love the view of the altar, statues and bells.
    Take care, enjoy your day!

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  4. what a beautiful church both inside and out, although i prefer the outside best of all. that sign with the name of it is one of the prettiest I have ever seen. awesome photos

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  5. it is so pretty...not too overdone!! all of the pictures are so pretty but the entrance door, drench with light, that is so artistic!!

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    1. Makes me happy you enjoyed it, thanks Debbie :)

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  6. I've always wanted to visit San Diego but never have. Love the old mission church, a simple and exquisite beauty

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    1. We lived there for many years way back when. I always enjoyed our time there, even though we didn't do a lot of sight seeing.

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  7. It is beautiful in its simplicity. Simple is my favorite kind of church.

    I assume that is a statue of Mary at the end. Is that a head in the base of the statue? What is the significance of that?

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    1. Hi Sandi, the head that you see is an angel supporting her. You can read about the symbolism here.

      http://www.olgaustin.org/symbolism.shtml

      I found a paragraph that reads:

      The angel supporting the Lady testifies to her royalty. To the Meso-American Indians only kings, queens and other dignitaries would be carried on the shoulders of someone. The angel is transporting the Lady to the people as a sign that a new age has come.

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    2. Thanks for the info, Denise. I had never heard of that!

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    3. You are very welcome Sandi and thank you. You gave me a question that peaked my interest and I enjoyed finding this information.

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  8. Beautiful building and great photos with masses of info. Keep well and stay safe, Diane

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    1. Thank you Diane, you stay well and safe also.

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  9. Hi Denise,
    Interesting post, America always fascinates me with such varied architecture. Excellent series of images of the beautiful old church.
    You and yours stay safe.
    John

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    1. Hi John, thank you and I wish you the same my friend.

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  10. I love seeing your post of the mission in San Diego, Denise. Your beautiful photos show off its loveliness. I remember visiting this mission years ago. San Diego is so lovely--so much to see and enjoy. The weather always seems to be perfect. I'm looking forward to seeing your photos of the garden.

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    1. Thank you Martha Ellen, and how lovely that you saw this mission years ago. At one time I thought we would always live in San Diego but life takes us in different directions.

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  11. Wonderful photos Denise! I enjoy visiting the mission, it's just 15 minutes away. They have a lovely little gift shop too. And you've reminded me it's been too long since I was last there. Maybe it's time for a photo journey down the freeway for a visit. Looking forward to your photos of their lovely garden.

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    1. How wonderful Sara. I will look forward to your photos very much!

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  12. Beautiful. Reminds me of San Xavier mission in Old Tucson. I'm gonna go read it's history now, thanks.

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    1. Hi Anni, you are very welcome and the San Xavier mission would be a place I would love to see.

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  13. historical and beautiful church....
    thank you for sharing interesting story...

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    1. You are very welcome Tanza. I am happy you found it interesting.

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  14. Armchair or rather desk chair travel has been such fun since most of have cancelled trip plans. Thanks Denise for taking me on an enjoyable trip from home and way less costly than going there!

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    1. Isn't that the truth Dorothy? I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  15. Muy buen trabajo también en la primera parte, con unas buenas fotografías que ilustrán una información sencilla y bien clara.

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    1. Muito obrigado. Fico feliz que você tenha gostado.

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  16. I really appreciate your beautiful photos, especially since we can't travel now.

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    1. So kind of you to say Kay, thank you! I am relying more and more of my old posts now that we are no longer traveling. Hopefully blogging friends don't mind seeing them again, and newer blogging friends will enjoy them.

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  17. Wonderful photos and history of this Mission. Our sons first elementary school was Junipero Serra in Ventura.

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    1. How interesting Ellen, thank you for sharing that.

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  18. What a gorgeous place, and your photos are super. The statue of the Virgin near the bottom with all those spiky looking things around her has intrigued me. Now I'm going to have to visit Google to see if I can find any info about her and what those spikes are. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hello Great Granny, I have added more information to the post. Thank you for asking.

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