Museum

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SJB Sala Manuscripts

The Old Mission Museum is dedicated to Fray Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta, OFM, as he was the longest serving Franciscan friar during the mission era (1809-1833). Fray Felipe, prolific writer, inventor, linguist, early ethnographer, and mathematician, learned 13 indigenous dialects in order to give his homilies and sing to the Indians in their native languages. Despite serious and chronic illness that plagued him throughout his tenure at Old Mission San Juan, he also prepared a number of significant historical documents and manuscripts pertaining to the language, dialects, and culture of the Mutsun, and a number of other early California tribal communities. This museum is the concerted effort to represent and conserve the Pre-contact Native Californian, Spanish colonial, Mission era, Mexican Republican, Early American and Victorian, and 20th Century cultural and historical materials of the Old Mission San Juan Bautista. This, the fifteenth Spanish mission was founded on June 24th 1797 by Franciscan Father Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, OFM, the successor President to Father Junípero Serra of San Carlos Borromeo.

 


Noted filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock selected Mission San Juan Bautista as the setting for the 1957 production of the motion picture Vertigo -- staring Barbara Bel Geddes, Kim Novak, and Jimmy Stewart. You may have noted that the Victorian era bell tower depicted in the movie no longer exists. Apparently, Alfred Hitchcock employed studio effects to recreate the tower for the film. The original tower was demolished in 1949 due to dry rot and structural damage prior to production.


Weather permitting, every December 21st and 22nd the light of the midwinter solstice illuminates the main altar tabernacle. During this annual event, the sun’s early morning light is projected through the church structure and creates a breathtaking illumination of the church interior that is not to be missed.


Today, conservation efforts at the Old Mission are supported by contributors like you, the California Missions Foundation, and most generously by the Louise M. Davies Foundation and Charles D. and Frances K. Field Funds administered by Mr. Philip Hudner.  The San Juan Bautista Mission Conservation Program is supervised by Dr. Rubén Mendoza, and enabled by student assistants from the California State University, Monterey Bay. Your donations to either the California Missions Foundation on behalf of Old Mission San Juan Bautista, or the SJB Mission Conservation fund of the Old Mission Parish serve to support continuing efforts to preserve the Old Mission for future generations.


To find out how you can help support the San Juan Bautista Mission Conservation Program, please contact the California Missions Foundation at voice mail (831) 622-7504, or by email at info@californiamissionsfoundation.org For further information on the specific needs of the Old Mission, contact Dr. Rubén G. Mendoza at rumendoza@csumb.edu, or by way of voice mail at (831) 582-3760. For contributions to the Old Mission, you may also contact Old Mission San Juan Bautista directly at (831) 623-2127 or via email at  ann@oldmissionsjb.org.


Enjoy Your Visit

Mission Museum & Gift Shop hours: Monday – Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed on major holidays.

School Field Trips: Please see instructions at www.oldmissionsjb.org/giftshop.html

Address: Old Mission San Juan Bautista 406 Second Street San Juan Bautista, CA 95045

How to Get to Old Mission San Juan Bautista

Directions From Highway 101 (north or south):

Take Highway 101 and exit at San Juan Bautista/Hollister Highway 156 East exit.

Turn LEFT at San Juan Bautista Signal onto The Alameda.

The Alameda changes to Third Street at Franklin Street Continue two blocks past Franklin Street.

On Third Street Turn right on Mariposa Street.

Go one block to Second Street.

Make a left on Second Street.

Old Mission San Juan Bautista is located on the right.

Directions From Highway 5 (north or south):

Mission is approximately 50 miles from Highway 5.

Take State Route (Highway) 152 exit west.

Proceed on Highway 152 west to State Route (Highway) 156 bypass just past Casa De Fruta.

Turn left onto Highway 156 bypass, and proceed west.

At the sixth stoplight on Highway 156, turn right onto The Alameda at San Juan Bautista.

The Alameda changes to Third Street at Franklin Street.

Continue two blocks past Franklin Street on Third Street.

Turn right on Mariposa Street.

Go one block to Second Street.

Make a left on Second Street.

Old Mission San Juan Bautista is located on the right.

Downloadable PDF Mission Map