Sunday, May 8, 2011

Santa Cruz, CA - More Than Surf, Historic Mission Santa Cruz Too

On this Mother's Day, I think about my own Mother and the many times we shared together. My mission is to carry some of her thoughts forward, in my own words. I know she enjoyed seeing the places I loved when she visited me. Santa Cruz is one of those places we shared together. To my Mother, thank you for being with me, always and forever! 

I think about Santa Cruz, CA as a fun, off beat, surfing, and college town which lies where the north side of Monterey Bay merges with the Pacific Ocean. Santa Cruz tends to have an opposite attraction from the town of Monterey, more where the locals hang out. Many visitors head "over the hill" from San Jose, CA on Hwy 17 and go directly to see the Wharf, Boardwalk, and West Cliff Drive. A few people might frequent downtown Santa Cruz sidewalks.  How many actually visit Mission Hill? What is Mission Hill? 

Holy Cross Church on Mission Hill as you drive into Santa Cruz
Mission Hill, Santa Cruz, CA

The Holy Cross Church is the symbol of where the Mission Santa Cruz once stood.  Today you may walk around this church and the State Historical Park complex of buildings.   

The Mission Santa Cruz is the 12th of 21 California missions established in 1791 and built between the years of 1822 and 1824, mostly by the hard work of Native Americans in what was then known as "Alta California". 

California State Historic Park

Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park is the site of several buildings erected around the original Santa Cruz Mission. Part of the cluster, the Neary-Rodriguez Adobe was built in 1791 and is the last of the mission's many buildings to survive.

Santa Cruz means "holy cross" in Spanish. Lessons may be learned as you visit this replica of the actual mission - which has gone through many disasters – including many, many earthquakes. All but nine buildings on Mission Hill are in a Special Use (Historic) District, to maintain the area’s historic character.

Inside the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park 

The interior of the church has only a few original artifacts, most of which were lost or destroyed in earthquakes. Visitors will find a 1797 oil painting of the Virgen de Guadalupe hanging on the side wall of the church, and in the garden may be seen the original hand-carved baptismal font once located in the sanctuary.

The day I visited, the park was closed. I took a 3 pictures between the space of the closed gate of the historical park. Interesting what I received doing this: 


Mission Santa Cruz 130 Emmet Street (831) 426-5686
Days and hours have recently changed to Thursday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. You might want to call to be sure it is open. There is a small gift shop to browse.

The history in Santa Cruz, I wonder ...
did the Spanish Priests and early American Indians have some type of surfboard? 

Off the beaten path in local communities ~ The Fun Tour Guru 
Happy Mother's Day! 

Comments welcome!