Mission Santa Barbara

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Hal1026 on March 14, 2002

In the hills overlooking the city of Santa Barbara is the Mission Santa Barbara, from which the municipality derives its name. Featuring a twin-towered faced that faces out toward the Pacific, this imposing structure combines Roman and Spanish mission styles for an overall effect that is somewhat grander than many of the existing missions in the mission chain stretching up the coast. Originally, a series of three successive adobe churches stood here but were destroyed by earthquakes, then replaced by the present building in 1820 which in turn was damaged in the earthquake of 1925 that required extensive restoration. The inside of the church is rather simple in design and decoration but nonetheless serene and impressive. There is also a small museum displaying historical artifacts from the mission archives and reflects early mission life. An adjacent cemetery with ancient headstones bears witness to the resting place of several thousand native Americans whose labor made the original mission possible.

To get there, you can walk the half-mile from State St. up Mission St. and Mission Canyon, or take the Santa Barbara Municipal bus that runs up the hill.

Old Mission Santa Barbara
2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, California, 93105
(805) 682-4713


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