Mission San Luis Rey de Francia was founded on June 13, 1798 by Father Fermin Lasuen and is number 18 of the 21 Spanish Missions founded in California.
This mission has some rather unique areas that are worth a look: the original adobe and brick church from 1815, the lavanderia (another post), the gated ruins of soldier barracks sitting atop the original walls of the mission, and the oldest pepper tree in California, which was planted in 1830 (in the background of the photo on the left).
The doors are always open. The church is always cool.
The Old Mission San Luis Rey has a long tradition of welcoming people through its open doors. However, at the moment, the Mission is facing permanent closure.
In 2003, a major earthquake caused great damage to the church and forced State of California to mandate a full seismic retrofit of this building and other surrounding structures.
Construction needs to be funded and complete before October 2012 if they want to keep the heritage building open. We happened to visit Oceanside and the Mission two days before they took the roof off to begin the retrofit.