Mission San Luis Rey: The Grand Palace of California Missions

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IMG_3234Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, founded in 1798 as the last mission of Padre Fermín Francisco Lasuén, the successor to Father Junipero Serra, and the 18th of the 21 California Missions. 56 acres of open land with this splendid palatial Mission as it’s shining star and focal point. What a vision! Brilliant white against the deep blue skies of Oceanside California. Magnificent!

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Very friendly staff here so I stuck around and took an educational tour with a well versed retired teacher volunteer that proved to be very enjoyable and interesting. All the history, the struggles and the passion that fills the air here just fascinates me.

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The spectacular flowers everywhere and the rose gardens were absolutely bursting with color and here sits the first and oldest living Pepper tree in the State of California which was planted by seeds that were brought over from Peru in 1830.

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The lavanderia, the steps, the baths. So fascinating to see the actual areas where the people lived and took care of their day to day needs.

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The art, the exquisite sanctuary, and of course, my favorite, bells.

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Such an intricately designed compound. Really impressive! Parking is a breeze in the large lot as well. I feel like each Mission I visit is like meeting a new friend for the first time. Unique memories of each but always leaving me feeling the same kind of warm and peaceful serenity. Ahh, I love these Missions!

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