Oceanside, CA is known for its sun, surf, and hidden treasures. One of these treasures is Mission San Luis Rey de Francia. Founded in 1798 by Padre Fermín Lasuén and named after St. Louis IX, the king of France, San Luis Rey is the largest of all the California missions. Mission San Luis Rey was the 18th mission out of 21 built in California. If you have not yet been, this historical spot is worth putting on your list of places to visit. Let’s take a little glimpse into California’s past with Mission San Luis Rey.
See Also: History & Fun at Mission San Luis Rey
A lot looks different from the time of the mission’s construction to today. Initially, the mission was built to fit a smaller group of people but as time passed that number increased, causing the mission to undergo changes to accommodate the growth. Today the mission holds a larger cemetery that was expanded in 1994. When the mission was constructed, one of its first structures was the mission church. But again and as the mission grew it was forced to build a larger church, which in the end held up to 1,000 people.
See Also: Mission San Luis Rey
Compared to other missions throughout California, Mission San Luis Rey is one of few still being operated by Franciscan friars, and because it is so active, when visiting it is more than likely that you will happen upon one of the mission’s friars. Padre Lasuén, is not only remembered as the mission’s founding friar, but also for planting the first pepper tree at San Luis Rey, making this mission home to the oldest pepper tree in California! The San Luis Rey friars were and still are an integral part of the mission and the reason behind the preservation of its rich history.
Art and Culture
Although there have been many changes and restorations to Mission San Luis Rey, much still remains the same.
- – You are still immersed in a world of Spanish Colonial architecture.
- – You are still able to see original baptismal font in the baptistery.
- – When taking the tours at the mission you are able to see original artwork and artifacts.
The art and architecture of Mission San Luis Rey has not only gotten our attention but also the attention of television producers. Did you know the mission was the site where several episodes of the Disney television series “Zorro” were filmed in the 1950s? Things such as these only helped bring more attention and popularity to the mission making it a landmark in Oceanside.
Visit Mission San Luis Rey de Francia today and experience a true piece of culture in Oceanside. Click here to visit the Mission’s website to learn more.