San Antonio de Padua Mission

February 4, 2018 at 7:00 am (California, California Central Coast, Photography) (, )

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The San Antonio de Padua Mission is on the Fort Hunter Liggett property, but is publicly accessible.


Long after the mission was established, William Randolph Hearst bought the surrounding property for the Milpitas unit of the Hearst Ranch.


In 1940, the Army bought the ranch in anticipation of American involvement in World War II, and in January 1941 it was known as the Hunter Liggett Military Reservation.


The mission has been restored and is currently trying to meet earthquake construction standards. Information about the history of the mission and its fund-raising efforts can be found on the mission website.



On Sunday, Jan. 28, the mission held its Cutting of the Roses celebration, with a delicious brunch (including mimosas and chorizo enchiladas!), and free cuttings from the rose garden during its annual pruning. It also offered potted cuttings and other plants for sale.


I arrived in the area in late November, so this is the only rose I saw in bloom.  However, I have 8 cuttings and I hope that most of them will give me some lovely rose bushes. I also bought some narcissus, hollyhock seeds, and iris corms from the mission’s gardens.

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This was the mill for grinding wheat and grains. There are many remnants of the once-bustling mission village, including wells, a reservoir, and livestock pens.

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California Ground Squirrel on Adobe Wall Ruins

It’s a great place for birding, too – and I’ll post some of the birds I’ve seen around the mission in a separate blog entry.


This is one of many missions located along or near U.S. Highway 101. Travelers along the 600-mile El Camino Real (the Royal Road/King’s Highway) will notice mission bells on shepherd’s crooks every mile or two from San Diego to San Francisco. The one below is on mission grounds.

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There are some of the original olive trees on the grounds.

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A male western bluebird stands guard over its foraging field.

The mission hosts retreats and has rooms available for overnight stays. Many of them are the small cells originally used by monks.



Mass is held in the mission every Sunday.




Many of the California missions are in the middle of some bustling towns and cities. The Mission San Antonio de Padua is still in its picturesque setting, with only Fort Hunter Liggett’s cantonment for a neighbor.


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Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

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  1. Jet Eliot said,

    Wonderful photos, Cindy, you captured the old Spanish architecture so artistically, and expressed well the quiet surroundings of this mission. Although I have visited many of the California missions, I have never been here. I especially like the ground squirrel and adobe wall close-up. It’s nice to have you in California, neighbor.

  2. Cindy McIntyre said,

    Thanks Jet! Did I miss your post from your recent visit to Sacramento NWR? Or are you like me, and still working on stuff from months ago? 🙂

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