Mission San Juan Bautista, USA

"Mission of Music"


Mission San Juan Bautista (2012) by CyArkCyArk

Expedition Overview

In December 2012, CyArk partnered with California State University Monterey Bay, the California Missions Foundation, and the San Juan Bautista parish to digitally document Mission San Juan Bautista. Built directly next to the San Andreas Fault, Mission San Juan Bautista is at constant risk of damage or destruction inflicted by earthquakes. The mission has already suffered such damage through the centuries, and cracks in the adobe walls throughout the Church emphasize the importance of documentation for the Mission's preservation. CyArk documented the interior and exterior of the church, including the main attic of the Church, the adjacent cemetery, and a path below the cemetery that belonged to the original El Camino Real.

Bell at Mission San Juan Bautista (2012) by CyArkCyArk

Introducing San Juan Bautista

Remnants of Spanish colonization of the Americas, Mission San Juan Bautista provides a window into early development of today's American West and state of California. From its initial construction in 1797, the mission has played a dynamic role as the land it was built on changed hands over time. Initially constructed as a colonial Spanish mission, the surrounding area later became a Mexican pueblo, and finally an American town. Mission San Juan Bautista encapsulates the inventive influence of Spanish colonial artists observable in the church’s collection of apostolate paintings. Local American Indian laborers from the Mutsun tribe largely constructed the adobe building, embodying the harsh effects of the Spanish colonial program of religious and cultural conversion on local Native American communities. Mission San Juan Bautista and the surrounding historic district are touchstones for understanding the diversity of cultural influences that have shaped life in California today. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey owns the church and holds religious services weekly. 

Mission San Juan Bautista (2012) by CyArkCyArk

The Mission's Three Aisles 

Mission San Juan Bautista is the only mission in the state constructed with three aisles. An earthquake destroyed the aisle in the early 1900s but was refurbished when the church reopened in 1974 after undergoing restoration.

Digital render of Mission San Juan Bautista (2012) by CyArkCyArk

Digital rendering of San Juan Bautista.

Open Heritage 3D by CyArkCyArk

Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D.

Download the data from this project.

About Open Heritage 3D

The mission of the Open Heritage 3D project is to:

● Provide open access to 3D cultural heritage datasets for education, research and other
non-commercial uses.

● Minimize the technical, financial and legal barriers for publishers of 3D heritage data.

● Promote discovery and re-use of datasets through standardized metadata and data formats.

● Foster community collaboration and knowledge sharing in the 3D cultural heritage community.

● Share best practices and methodologies for the capture, processing and storage of 3D cultural heritage data

Credits: Story

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This project was made possible through the generous support of Parish of San Juan Bautista and Tewa Missions and the following partners:

Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey

California State University Monterey Bay

California Missions Foundation

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.