Established: June 13, 1798
By: Father Fermin Lasuen
Order: 18th of the 21 missions
Name for: King Louis the 9th of France
Interesting Fact: A single domed tower served as a lookout and a bell tower from which a gaurd could signal workers in the fields or announce the approach of visitors.
The mission we studied was San Luis Rey de Francia. It was established in 1798 by Father Fermin Lasuen. It was the 18th mission built and was located about 40 miles north of San Diego. It is named after King Louis the 9th of France.
This mission is special because is the largest of the missions. It is known as the "King of the Missions." Its church is 180 feet long, 20 feet wide and 30 feet high and is made out of adobe bricks. It is one of only two missions that is shaped like a cross. It has one bell tower that was used as way for the guards to signal workers from the field and to see visitors who were coming. There were six buildings surrounding the front patio and the mission had a really cool water system. They used 12 underground pipes made of burnt brick and filtered water using a charcoal filtering system! There were also lots of animals on the mission: 27,000 heads of cattle, 26,000 sheep and 2,000 horses!
In 1833 the mission was taken over by the Mexican government and was neglected. Many of the art and tiles used in the mission disappeared. Today the mission is used as a church and you can go visit it, too!