A few months back, my son had a field trip to the San Fernando Mission and I was lucky to be one of the chaperones. We enjoyed a guided tour of the mission. These grounds are brimming with religion and history. There a lot of paintings, statues, artifacts and each tells its own story. The Bob Hope Memorial is also located within this mission. Having studied from a Convent of Jesus and Mary myself, I enjoy the winds of tranquility which surround such places.
Mission San Fernando Rey de España or the San Fernando Mission is a reconstructed Spanish mission which is located in the Mission Hills District of Los Angeles.
The mission was founded on 8th September, 1797 and was 17th Spanish mission to be established. The mission is the namesake of the San Fernando Valley. The entrance is through the gift shop. There are lot of memorabilia which you can buy from there.
Once you exit the gift shop you enter the main plaza which has a beautiful fountain right in the heart of the garden. The garden has a variety of plants, bushes and trees.
On the left of the garden are workshops. It is very enlightening to see how things were done back in the day. From leather workshop to blacksmith workshop, one has lots to learn.
The workshops also have exit doors which open in the west garden. You can see the back of the church and the archives library from there.
A statue of Fermín de Francisco Lasuén de Arasqueta, president of the Franciscan missions and the founder of 9 out of 21 missions in Alta California sits amongst the greenery.
The corridors of the archives library has a wonderful tiled map display of different missions.
As you make your way to the Mission Convento, you see a partially constructed wall made of adobe brick. This has been left undone just to show the visitors how construction was done back in the days.
The Convento building is the only original structure at this mission, the rest have been reconstructed.
The San Fernando Convento is the largest two-story mission and is the place where the missionaries would reside. Rooms are reconstructed to show life looked back in the day. This building also is a museum and there are many artifacts, painting and sculptures.
The wine cellar has been restored and it is in the basement of the building.
There are different rooms which have been reconstructed to show how the reception, hospice, travelers room, kitchen and meat smoking areas looked like.
There is nice library which holds old books and there are many paintings and artifacts spread all around.
As you enter the Church from the main plaza you will notice two rows of pes with a center isle leading to the Altar. The Altar is 400 years old and was imported from a church in Spain. It is made up of a lot of small parts and is not one solid construction. A pulpit sits on the left side of the altar.
As you exit the church you enter the cemetery which bears a cross with a dedication to the Native Americans.
Beyond it is the Bob Hope Memorial Garden. This is the place where the Hope family is buried. The mission buildings holds a lot of displays of Bob Hope.
At the entrance of the garden is the statue of Lady of Hope which leads to the pathway to the garden and finally to the crypt where Bob and Dolores Hope are buried.