Yesterday you got to see the Danish side of Solvang. But what about the Spanish side? Well look no further than…well a couple of feet next to the main strip of the town. Before the Danes came to take over the Spanish had a strong foothold in the West and a lot of Missions/churches were formed. Mission Santa Ines was founded in 1804 and apart from some wear from natural causes & some Native American raids (Remember, the Chumash had dibs on this area first for being, you know, actually the first living in the area.) the Mission is still intact.
Originally I was going to put this along with the first Solvang article but because this is so vastly different from the Danish town I felt the need to make it separate. So, whether you are of the faith or not, I hope you enjoy some of the highlights from Mission Santa Ines:
Feels like I’m in California again! Wait, I was ALWAYS in California…
Honestly, the movies got Missions done perfectly cause when I think of ‘Missions’ this looks like a typical movie set.
A panoramic of what the church sees when you face in front of it. Simply gorgeous. You would never know a Danish community it literally right behind you.
Before I went in there was a garden that had 14 crosses showing the tale of Jesus being crucified. Honestly I don’t quite get why this has to be out here. Not to get on a soapbox but when I think of gorgeous vistas and Jesus in general I don’t think of paintings of him suffering PLUS artistic crosses with red paint of where he was nailed. A nice example of how you are showing violence in religion when that isn’t the point of the story.
Inside the Mission there is a mini-museum which, being the museum guy, I had to check out. First out is Jesus on a pretty sweet boat!
Now some gardening tools and weapons for the workers!
How about some colorful vests?
Or the Virgin Mary?
That is a pretty display.
Also, some refreshments.
Now for the church itself. This is looks like a beautiful chapel by the image itself. But let me tell you: The ambiance and overall look of the place is remarkable. I may not be a religious man but even I can admit I would go to church more often if they start looking like this.
See? That is absolutely beautiful.
Although I must admit things look a little creepy when you are looking in reverse. Not sure why.
The garden! A pretty sweet looking area.
Certainly looks nicer than any church I’ve ever been too in the Philly/Jersey area.
I take it this is a praying area?
And a graveyard! Some modern tombstones but for the most part they are all from the various priests, nuns, and workers who have been in this area since the beginning.
The garden also shows to remind you that you’re a literally a fence hop away to Denmark.
And that is Solvang! A fantastic town that has a wonderful balance of everything I’ve loved about California since moving here. It is unique, highly entertaining, and overall a beautiful place to walk around. I will certainly find myself back here in the near future (especially when I find myself in the valley of having a girlfriend and/or wife). Another reminder why I should is the gorgeous visuals you see traveling back and forth in general. For example, a view from the Pacific Coast Highway: