Mision La Purisima Concepcion de Maria Santisima is one of the famous network of Spanish Franciscan missions stretching the length of California, established in the 18th century. Today it’s something of a living history museum. Unlike many of the California missions, La Purisima is no longer used for actual regular worship services.

Founded in 1787, the La Purisima Mission land holdings once covered nearly 470 square miles. Bordered by the Santa Maria River in the North and the Gaviota coastline in the South, the land was home to the Chumash people and Spanish settlers.

Founded in 1787, the La Purisima Mission land holdings once covered nearly 470 square miles. Bordered by the Santa Maria River in the North and the Gaviota coastline in the South, the land was home to the Chumash people and Spanish settlers.

It is the most extensively restored mission in the state.

It is the most extensively restored mission in the state.

The mission was best known for its hides and blankets, and at its peak inhabitants herded as many as 24,000 cattle and sheep.

The mission was best known for its hides and blankets, and at its peak inhabitants herded as many as 24,000 cattle and sheep.

It was the eleventh mission of the twenty-one Spanish Missions established in what later became the state of California.

It was the eleventh mission of the twenty-one Spanish Missions established in what later became the state of California.

Cemetery Marker

Cemetery Marker

Tanny Vat

Tanny Vat

Inside the main church.

Inside the main church.

Ready for her close-up.

Ready for her close-up.

Entrance to the smaller chapel.

Entrance to the smaller chapel.

Behind Door #2

Behind Door #2

Huge

Huge

Garden Fountain

Garden Fountain

Indian Corner

Indian Corner

Indian Venting

Indian Venting

Indian Laundry

Indian Laundry

A five-acre garden shows native and domestic plants typical of a mission garden, while mission-type animals such as burros, horses, longhorn cattle, sheep and goats are displayed in a corral located in the main mission compound.

A five-acre garden shows native and domestic plants typical of a mission garden, while mission-type animals such as burros, horses, longhorn cattle, sheep and goats are displayed in a corral located in the main mission compound.

Brea the Longhorn

Brea the Longhorn

Brea's Caretaker

Brea’s Caretaker