Visitor Information for California Missions - San Juan Bautista

California Mission: San Juan Bautista

Mission San Juan Bautista was founded 24 June 1797 (15th in order) by Padre Fermin Francisco de Lasuén. The Mission is named for Saint John the Baptist.

mission san juan batista ccThe Indian name was Popelout, or Popeloutchom. It is known for being the largest of the mission churches, with three aisles instead of the single aisle in other mission churches. Three of the nine bells in the chapel area remain. The church is active and has been since the Mission's founding.

21 miles North of Salinas or 13 miles South of Gilroy in San Juan Bautista (4 miles off of U.S. 101). Southbound on U.S. 101 you will exit at Highway 129 toward Watsonville. The road is a country road that runs straight into the city of San Juan Bautista in a residential area on 1st Street. Follow the signs to 2nd Street and then down to the historic area and Mission. From U.S. 101 to the Mission is 3.8 miles. Northbound on U.S. 101 take the Highway 156 exit and proceed 2.5 miles to San Juan Bautista. Make your way through town (see the map below) until you get to Mariposa and then turn left to the Mission (I wandered around the town just looking so I can't give you the exact street names). The mission is on the corner of 2nd and Mariposa (California Landmark 195). (GPS at the El Camino Bell at the corner of 2nd and Mariposa is 36° 50' 42.3"N, 121° 32' 9.2"W)

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