Sunday, August 9, 2015

Missions and Tacos Seven

San Antonio de Padua

San Antonio is a pretty drive 26 miles away from 101, which I thought was the one and only Camino Real. It turns out Camino Real is a generic term, revived during the "romantic" mission revival era. Historically there were two Caminos, and San Antonio is on the trail of the first of two Portola expeditions.

I was happy to get to turn off at a sign we've passed many times for Fort Hunter Liggett. At one time the area was all Hearst property. He sold a bunch of it to the Army in WWII and there still is a big training base. They've built a little bypass around the base so you no longer need to check in. Except for the base, the setting for the mission is a pretty remote valley.

It's getting a very expensive seismic retrofit at the moment. You can still visit the church, which is very pretty. This mission is presented as a continuously peaceful one, perhaps because they had the same Padre for 37 years. It's had two restorations, one led by Joe Oakland's Knowland Park Zoo and the Oakland Tribune.  The Hearst Foundation assisted the second time.

 The mission somehow feels complete, with a full quadrangle restored. The mission museums are lightly curated. the downside of that is sometimes I am left wondering who that saint on the wall is? where did the painting come from? The upside is corners with mysterious collections of pretty or nicely composed items.

An example of this is the candles in this corner. The purple one must be for Lent. I like the tall, decorated one. It has a portrait of Jesus. I get to guess...modern from Mexico?

The garden are full of roses. It was the hottest, driest mission so far. You could feel the TLC of the current keepers.

Another thing I love is what I've taken to calling "inexplicable art". My favorite example of this are these birds.

 In the category of "somewhat explained" is this figurehead from a colonial ship. It was brought by grateful sailors who survived a rough sail.  I guess when and who we'll never know.

Here's the church. So nice with the wood, paint and relative simplicity.

And again with the design elements.  Who can resist an acorn motif?

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