San José de Guadalupe Mission
The 14th mission in the California chain was founded by Padre Fermín Lasuén in 1797 and named for St. Joseph. The church here is a faithful reconstruction of the mission's first permanent adobe church, completed in 1809 but toppled by a massive earthquake in 1868. Within the simple, unadorned exterior walls, the church interior reflects the 1833-40 period, featuring an ornate gold-leaf replica of the reredos and historic statuary. Note the statue of St. Joseph (c.1600) from Spain and that of the Virgin (18C) from Mexico; rear side altars display statues of Christ (early 19C) and St. Bonaventure (1808). The hammered copper baptismal font (1830s) was painted by Augustín Davila, painter of the interior of the original church. A small garden separates the church from the original adobe padres' quarters, which now house a museum of mission history featuring Native American and church artifacts.