Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Santa Ines Mission

 Well we've gone and found ourselves another Spanish mission. This time we were on a visit to Solvang, California over the Thanksgiving weekend.
 with family in town for the holiday we wanted to give them the chance to see some sites that they wouldn't normally get to see. We also didn't want to fight large crowds of people, a feat not easily accomplished in a state with 38 million people living in it and a rush of out of town visitors hanging around. So we decided to visit Solvang for the second time. Things haven't changed much since our last visit so if you're interested in reading about that trip, you can check it out here. The one thing we missed out on seeing during our first trip was the San Ines Mission. This time we made sure to stop by.
 Founded in September of 1804, the San Ines Mission is very similar to the other missions that we have visited in the area. This one, however, seems to have had a bit rougher life than the other two. The mission was built to ease overcrowding of the San Buenaventura and Mission La Purisima Conception and had baptized 112 natives by the end of the first year. By 1816 that number would climb to 786. 
 Disaster struck the mission in 1812 when an earthquake struck near Santa Barbara 34 miles away. This caused major damage to the adobe walled mission and the surrounding out buildings. The church would have to be rebuilt and completion on the new building wouldn't come until 1817. This new building is the one that we see today.
 In 1824 the Santa Ines Mission would be the starting point for the Chumash revolt. The native Indians, tired of working for the Mexican soldiers and getting nothing in return, took to armed attacks and the burning of some of the mission's buildings. This caused smoke damage to many of the paintings and decorations kept at the mission.
 Today the mission is a popular place to visit thanks to being inside Solvang's city limits. It's nice to be able to visit such an old structure especially one that has been cared for like this one. The original floor and ceiling of the chapel are in amazing shape but also show a little history in the way of new supports beefing up the ceiling timbers and carpeting to help keep the floor pristine. One improvement that is cool and creepy at the same time is an audio tour. They have installed little push buttons throughout the building that, once pressed, sets off a booming narration of facts for you to learn about the building. The creepy part to me is that it seems out of place for a church. They have signs that ask you to be reverent as you enter the chapel but there is nothing reverent about the speaker system. 
 I would have to say that of the three missions we've visited, Santa Ines was the most inviting. It has a newer feel than the others but still maintains is rustic charm. It also helps having the Dutch capital of the world right next door to help bring people in. I wish I had noticed the audio tour earlier on when we arrived rather than near the end. It would have been interesting to hear what they all had to say. So, if you're visiting the Santa Barbara area and you want to see a little more history during your visit, make sure to swing up to Solvang. You'll get a little Dutch and Spanish history that you wouldn't have otherwise. 


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