Mission of San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano, United States

The Mission of San Juan Capistrano is one of several Spanish missions in California built for the purpose of converting people to the Catholic faith. Established in 1776 it was the largest Spanish building in California. Unfortunately it was partly destroyed by an earthquake in 1812 and gradually fell into disuse. However it was revived in the 20th century and is now once more a flourishing ministry.


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Founded: 18th century
Category: Religious sites in United States


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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User Reviews

Ania K (5 months ago)
Relaxing & spiritual ~ Whether you're religious, into history or architecture or just need a break from the daily grind this place has something for everyone. I love spending quiet time wandering around beautiful places and this place made me feel very happy and at peace. You can sit on a bench & watch butterflies fly from one flower to the next or observe a priest as he walks by and it feels like you're far from everything outside of this place. It's quiet, very beautiful and rich with history. I recommend taking your time and exploring the grounds. Come early and beat the crowds and you'll even get to listen to the church bells ring. The church is intimate & very peaceful and as you walk from one area to the next you're reminded of how people once lived. We truly have everything nowadays and even that isn't enough for some of us. Come here and reflect on all your blessings. Admission is $9 per person but they do offer several different types of discounts. The fee is very worth it and the grounds are kept in pristine conditions. Parking can be tricky as they don't have designated spots but it's worth driving around until you find a space. Don't miss the gift shop that's filled with so many great treasures.
ivan oliveros (6 months ago)
Beautiful Mission like all others. They have a wonderful radio device that plays historic facts on your ears like a phone, very informative. People were wearing masks and they are observing covid guidelines. Overall a great experience.
Jessica Melody (7 months ago)
A wonderful place to spend a few hours exploring 200 years of history. There is something here for everyone. Beautiful paintings, history of mission, gardens that are the full of not only beautiful flowers, but examples of some of the foods that were eaten are grown here. Grapes that were used for wine (just don't pick them) are there, samples of mission brands and even a hide showing what was used for branding cattle is just one of the many exhibits to see. The two fountain in the courtyard have Koi fish that you can feed (go to the gift shop and buy food for only $1.00. The majesty of the mission can not only be seen, but felt through the thick walls and cool rooms. The gift shop also has treasures that can be bought and a staff that is friendly and willing to help and answer any questions.
Fred Williams (8 months ago)
Very informative and our docent Jessica was on point.
Romulo A. RIVAS (8 months ago)
great spiritual outdoor place to visit !
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Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.