Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mission Soledad

DSC_6612, originally uploaded by Chez VH.
The final California Mission we made it to on our trip was Mission Nuestra Senora Dolorissima de la Soledad, which translates: "Our Most Sorrowful Lady of the Solitude", commonly known simply as "Soledad". It's an appropriate name for a mission found today mostly in ruins and quite a ways off of the beaten path (i.e. Highway 101, which roughly falls along the original El Camino Real). It was quiet and a bit desolate, although the reconstructed chapel (which is still used as a Catholic Church on special occasions, but did not host the Blessed Sacrament) was lovely and there are a few rooms holding a gift shop and museum. A nicely cultivated area with roses brightens the entryway and parking lot, but other than that, most of the site was dirt with some random artifacts - a grave site here, a rubbly fountain there, and lots of remaining bricks from the floor of the original church.

According to a sign found on the site, the mission was dedicated in 1791 and destroyed by floods in 1828. There were signs of flooding in fields not far from the mission, so the reality is still there.

The restored buildings were reconstructed in 1955 and even when I was a child, we had friends who occasionally did volunteer work at Soledad, but somehow I missed visiting myself.

You can see the rest of our pictures from Soledad on Flickr.

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