This mission had pretty bad luck all along and there is very little to see from mission days.
|The wall is covered to protect it|
Not much fuss is made to interpret the remains of the mission behind the current church. Across the street there is a half size replica of the mission that is a crazy mixed up museum and gift shop. Fans of 18th century European embroidery examine vestments over the heads of kids saying "Dad look how cute this is, can I have it?" A chalice used by Junipero Serra is in a glass case right above mementos that no doubt provide a bit of revenue. A dedicated volunteer answers questions and makes change.
Mass was just breaking up at Holy Cross Church. It's pretty. And there's a large school and a green square on the property. This mission was first built on the river where it flooded. So they rebuilt on High street. They had trouble from the beginning with their fellow Spaniard neighbors. One bit of history I've never heard of before is the story of an expected raid by the pirate Hippolyte de Bouchard. (Pirates on the California coast?) The Padres felt they needed to go to safety at Mission Santa Clara and asked their Branciforte neighbors to look after things. Instead they raided and burned. And the pirate never came. This mission seems to have an especially cruel track record. Perhaps that in addition to the few physical remains is why the Santa Cruz community appears to be less sentimental than some others about their Mission.