|1925 painting by Charles Percy Austin|
Here's how the mission looks today.
|Old vs. New California:|
A beach cruiser is parked outside the mission's front gate.
|A statue of Father Junipero Serra, founder of the|
California missions, keeps vigil over the the ruins.
|Inside the Great Stone Church.|
|Footprint of the fallen bell tower.|
|Serra Chapel, the oldest continuously used|
church building in California.
|Restoration of the mission grounds began in the 1910s.|
In the 1800s, locals gathered on the tile rooftops
to watch rodeos in the courtyard below.
|The Moorish Fountain.|
The most popular time to visit the mission is St. Joseph's Day on March 19th, when tourists hope to witness the Miracle of the Swallows. Every spring, American Cliff Swallows return to California after spending the winter in Argentina.
|Mud nests created by swallows several years ago.|