Saturday, May 13, 2017

inSPIREd Sunday

March 2017 - San Luis Obispo CA

Click here for more of our day.

This active mission is in the heart of the town of San Luis Obispo, giving it a very lively and vibrant feeling.

Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded 1 September 1772 (5th in order) by Saint Junípero Serra. The mission is named for Saint Luis, Bishop of Toulouse. The Native American name for the region was Tishlini. The mission is the halfway point in the chain and is often called the “Prince of Missions.” Because of flaming arrows, the mission was built with tiles; the first roof tiles made in California. In the late 1800’s the mission was remodeled as a parish church; a New England steeple was even added. The steeple was removed and the mission restored in 1934.

We enter from the back. for once there isn't an entrance fee and there is a lovely gift shop. There is much parking space so you may have to find a metered spot on a surrounding street.

Tour Map

We then tour the museum which is well done outlining the history of the area.

The museum starts with the Chumash and moves forward in time. The room with the Indian displays has various paintings on the walls representing Indian art and various aspects of Indian life.

Much of the original Mission has been lost to history. Below is a representation of what some of the original items in the church might have looked like. The tabernacle is original and the bells and clapper (used during Lent instead of the bells) date to the early mission era.

Depicts how the dining room in the priest’s quarters might have looked in the 1920s.

There are no original decorations but the pattern on the rear wall is of the type one might have found originally. It was discovered under the wood interior that had been added to the church and then stripped off during the 1934 restoration. The side statues, while not original, are early mission-era art.

The Mission church of San Luis Obispo is unusual in its design in that its combination of belfry and vestibule is found nowhere else in the California missions.

Let's go outside to the garden.

We head out to the front of the church.

In 2005 the Mission put five new bells into service. They are shown here (starting from the left in this picture – note that the bell names are in honor of the first five Missions)…

Carlos (D-Pitch 26.56″ diameter 429 pounds)
Diego (B-Pitch 31.25″ diameter 748 pounds)
Antonio (E-Pitch 23.63″ diameter 297 pounds)
Gabriel (F#-Pitch 21.5″ diameter 224 pounds)
Luis (A-Pitch 19.75″ diameter 158 pounds)

We were lucky enough to be here at noon for the Angelus.

Today, the only bears remaining near Mission San Luis Obispo are the friendly bronze sculptures dabbing their paws in the plaza fountain.

Then look up at the Hannon statue of Saint Serra and the cross that denotes the Mission. (Don’t forget to rub Saint Serra’s toe for luck.)


  1. Looks like a more wonderfully mission to visit, I like the exhibits on show

  2. A fascinating place to visit. The sanctuary is particularly eye catching!

  3. ...what a beautiful place to visit, thanks for taking me along.

  4. The missions in California are a vibrant part of our history - love your collection of shots

  5. Interesting looking church...funny the influences.


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