As far as California Missions go, Mission San Fernando Rey de España is a really great one to visit. It was the 17th mission founded of the 21 Spanish missions, and it has a lot more to see than many of its counterparts. I visited this on day 2 of my California missions trip which you can read about here, and you can get all the information on this particular mission by reading on in this post.
- Location: 15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd, Mission Hills, CA 91345
This mission is located less than five minutes off the 5 Freeway’s San Fernando Mission Blvd exit. There is a parking lot with lots of parking right next to the mission
When you arrive, you will walk into the gift shop and pay your fee to access the mission. The gift shop is much like the other missions with lots of trinkets and mission related items. You will be given a map that recommends a route you should use to visit the mission. I found the route to be great as it took you in a logical order across the mission and provided background on what you were seeing. Here are some of the main things you will see.
The museum here is one of the highlights as there are a lot of unique artifacts on display.
As I was wandering around, I kept seeing beautiful pieces in many of the main rooms and the museum is one of the main reason I recommend visiting this mission.
This house belonged to the foreman of the mission ranch. It has been recreated to look like how it would have at the time, and it is really well done.
This building is where many of the aforementioned art is housed. There are many rooms full of all sorts of unique pieces, and it is a lot of fun to walk around in.
This area also houses replicas of many of the different living quarters that were at the mission.
They also have a full wine cellar which was one of my favorites parts. You can walk down into it and even though it is pretty gloomy, it is still epic.
The Madonna Room is part of the Convent Building as well, and it is one of the main attractions at the museum. The room itself is full of several hundred plaques, paintings, and depictions of the Blessed Mother. It is unique to see.
Statue of Fray Fermin Francisco De Lasuen
This mission was founded by Father Lasuen and so there is a statue in the garden dedicated to him. He was the president of California missions for over 18 years.
This church has been recreated to look exactly like it originally did. It has a large ornate altarpiece that is beautiful, and the chapel itself is very long and could hold a lot of people.
Bob Hope’s Grave
I was very confused as to why this mission was the final resting place of Bob Hope, but when I researched it online, it was because that is what his wife chose. So when you exit the chapel, you can walk into the Bob Hope Memorial Garden and see his final resting place if you so desire.
Statue of Fray Junipero Serra
I have found that every mission has this statue and Mission San Fernando Rey De Espana does as well.
El Camino Real Bell
All missions have this as well, and it is one of the things I look for when visiting each.
This area has three different types of workshops that were used during the time the missions were thriving. Each area still has many of the original tools, and it showcases what life would have been like.
I happened to be there during the tiny window of time that this area is open each week. It is a collection of many ancient and historical books which you can browse (they are covered in glass) or which you can set up a time to use for research. It was pretty cool to see.
Lastly, there is a big fountain right in the middle of the courtyard, much like many of the other missions. The fountains are another one of the things I seek out at each mission as it always seems to be placed in a fantastic spot for photography.
As you can see this is a great example of a California mission. It was my favorite that I visited on day 2 of my California missions drive, and I highly recommend you check it out if you are looking for a mission with a lot of great history. Read more about my time visiting all of the missions here and let me know what you think in the comments.