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Historic Mission San Miguel de Arcangel
Friday, January 14, 2011
The oldest of the three missions is Mission San Antonio de Padua, founded in 1771 as the third California Mission along the chain that expands the California coast line from San Diego to Sonoma. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was established the following year in 1772 as the fifth California Mission and Mission San Miguel de Arcangel was established many years later in 1797 as the sixteenth California Mission. Mission San Miguel de Arcangel is located seven miles north of Paso Robles.
I recently toured the grounds at Mission San Miguel de Arcangel. If you have not been, I would recommend a tour during your next visit to Paso Robles. The mission is open for daily tours and is in impeccable condition following a recent renovation. The mission garden is planted to many cacti and eucalyptus, and the cemetery is said to be the final resting place of many noteable pioneers of our region, including Billy the Kid's father.
The church itself is beautifully adorned with original artwork and painted walls, many of which were painted by the Salinan Native Americans. In fact, it is said that Mission San Miguel de Arcangel has the best preserved artwork of all the missions along the chain. I could go on, but I feel as though I would not do the mission justice, so I have linked a recent video by Katsuhiro Kohara found on YouTube below. On your tour, you will receive a self guided map that walks you through the mission grounds, pointing out the many attributes and historical facts about the mission, like the wine vat room where the Franciscan padres fermented Paso Robles' very first wine grapes.