Santa Barbara Mission

Mission Santa Barbara was founded on December 4, 1786 by Father Fermin Lasuen, Presidente of the California Missions Chain. It was the 10th mission in the 21 mission chain in Alta California. It was named for Saint Barbara. Father Serra wanted to start this mission two years before it actually was founded. He could not get permission from the governor at that time. By the time authorisation came to begin a mission, Father Serra was dying in Carmel. Mission Santa Barbara was named "Queen of the Missions". It sits high on a hill overlooking the city of Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean. During the first few years, there were a total of three churches built, each larger than the previous one. The final and remaining church is 161 feet long, 27 feet wide and 42 feet high. It has two matching bell towers that are each 87 feet tall. The appearance of the inside of the church has not changed since 1820.
photo by Bill Zeldis, Mark DeFeo, Graystone, and Cara Moore.
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