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About Old Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in Oceanside, California

Old Mission San Luis Rey de Francia is the 18th in a chain of 21 California missions. It was established in 1798 by Father Fermin Lausen who was president of missions during that era. The mission was named for Louis IX, king of France. The main church was designed and constructed in the shape of a cross. Its impressive architecture combined Spanish, Moorish, and Mexican influence. All the buildings were arranged around a 500 by 500 foot quadrangle, nearly the size of two football fields.

Mission San Luis Rey was one of the largest outposts, stretching over 1,000 square miles in what is now San Diego and Riverside counties. This outpost provided support for the mission and also allowed baptized Indians to remain in their native villages and serve the mission by working on the ranchos.

Built primarily through local labor of the Shoshonean tribe Luiseno Indians who inhabited the San Luis Rey river valley area, this mission was the largest and richest. It featured an intricate aqueduct system which supplied water for gardens, pools, bathing and laundry, ranching of 16,000 cattle, 25,000 sheep and 2,000 horses and the production of 2,500 barrels of wine each year. Father Antonio Peyri planned and oversaw the construction of the Mission’s many buildings which included three churches, the last of which was built in 1815 and still stands.

Owned and operated by the Franciscan Friars of California, the mission provides both guided and self-guided tours, a museum, gift shop, Franciscan Retreat Center, cemetery picnic facilities, a sunken garden as well as facility rentals for weddings and other functions.

If you are staying near the beaches in Oceanside, the mission is just a five mile drive inland on Highway 76 (San Luis Rey Mission Expressway).

4050 Mission Ave
Oceanside, CA 92057
(760) 757-3651
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Camp Pendleton South, US
6:34 am, May 30, 2024
temperature icon 58°F
L: 55° H: 70°
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Wind gusts: 2 m/s
UV Index: 0.4
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Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:41 am
Sunset: 7:52 pm
Humidity 90 %
Pressure1014 mb
Wind 2 m/s

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