Legendary explorer Lt. Col. Juan Bautista de Anza completed a 1,000-mile journey from Sonora, Mexico, crossing the Mojave Desert with the first settlers, to San Francisco’s pristine harbor. Fr. Francisco Palóu celebrated the dedication of Mission San Francisco de Asís on June 29, 1776. First established to protect Spain’s interests in Alta California from foreign ships, California’s landmark buildings are featured here with newly discovered photography depicting a romantic era of colorful Spanish conquistadors, Franciscan padres, and mission Indian neophytes from 1769 to 1823. Explore the heritage of California pioneers’ first communities and the 21 California Spanish missions of adobe, stone, and tile that are considered architectural wonders that have captured the imagination of visitors and historians over centuries.
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