Mission San José title image

Within the Walls

Photo by Pat Tyler

The Mission Grounds

The drawing gives us an idea of the structures and activities of the mission compound. Notice that the exterior walls doubled as outside walls for the living quarters of the occupants. The drawing does not suggest that the grounds were covered by manicured lawns as they are today.

Photo by Gertrude Meyer

The photographer was standing near the foundation of the white building (drawing above) with the fence (probably an animal enclosure) to the right.

Photo by Pat Tyler

We are aproaching the ruins of the convento which provided housing for the missionaries and lay assistants. In 1785 the convento had nine rooms downstairs and five rooms upstairs, covered with a flat roof. The ruins standing today reflect a major reconstruction begun by Benedictine monks in 1861 — work that was never completed.

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