To get to Mission Santa Clara de Asis begin by heading North on Highway 99 for about 35 miles. After passing Madera merge onto Highway 152 West on the left toward Los Banos and Gilroy. Los Banos is a great place to stop and get snacks or take a bathroom break and Gilroy is a great place to shop at the outlets. Continue on 152 for about 85 miles until you get to Highway 101 North toward San Jose and Watsonville for 33 miles. Merge onto Interstate 880 South toward Los Gatos and Santa Cruz. Take the Alameda exit toward Santa Clara then get on the 82 North ramp toward Santa Clara University. Stay right onto the Alameda and you will pass Santa Clara University and shortly after you will reach Mission Santa Clara de Asis at 500 El Camino Real in Santa Clara, California. From Fresno the trip takes about 2 hours 45 minutes and it's a fairly easy drive.
The Mission Today:
I had previously visited Santa Clara University for a friend's graduation but never had the chance to visit the mission itself. This assignment was the perfect opportunity to visit my friend Anne who lives in Santa Clara and visit the mission. Before visiting the mission I read up on the mission's history so I would know the story behind what I was going to see.
The mission stands in the center of the University campus, which is lush with greenery. Huge palm trees and green grass are found across the campus and surround the mission. Santa Clara University is the oldest college in California and is the only college to be the successor of a Spanish Mission.
The mission now stands at it's fifth site. The first was built in 1777 but flooded because it was too close to the Guadalupe River. It was moved to a second, temporary site until a permanent site could be blessed by Padre Sierra. That temporary mission was destroyed in the earthquake of 1818, and it was moved to yet another temporary site. Construction began on the fourth church in 1822. It...