The Mission at San Juan Capistrano, that's where the sparrows return every year, right? Well, sort of. They used to return to the mission by the thousands, but lately have been going farther inland and only a few return to the mission.
The chapel was destroyed in an earthquake back in 1812, and about 40 people died trapped in the rubble. It is reported to have had 9 vaulted ceilings and had been adorned with Indian artwork as they were the ones who built it (under the watchful eyes of the Spanish, no doubt).
Much of the courtyard buildings housing the monks and Spanish guard were either spared or rebuilt, but the chapel never was. There had been some relatively recent efforts to stabilize the ruins and protect them from further damage in future earthquales.
Jake wasn't very interested in the mission, but a new DS game kept him from bugging us to leave for a good little while.
This small chapel was rebuilt and still holds worship services.
Here is a storeroom for food and wine. it even had a loft (you can see parts of the ladder on the right).
I don't know if it was typical for men to share a room or if this was more for the guard and/or guests and doubled as a dining room (though most of the time, I would think it would be nice enough to eat outdoors).
The grounds had been well kept and lush with flowers and fountains as well as cacti
Plants in the fountain are designed to have someting in bloom pretty much all year round.
This little passageway was blocked off, but it seems like it leads to a nice peaceful little spot.
There was certainly more here than I had expected and I didn't get to see everything. They had nice little recorded interpretive stations you could listen to as you went and little extras to listen in on if you wanted.