In the Footsteps of the Jesuit Missions

San Borja

November 16

Morning in the Desert::Baja California Desert, Mexico::
Morning in the Desert
Cactus Cylindropuntia Molesta::Baja California Desert, Mexico::
Cactus Cylindropuntia Molesta
Columnar Cactus known as Indian Comb::Baja California Desert, Mexico::
Columnar Cactus known as Indian Comb

The morning was rather chilly, it was windy, the air temperature below 60şF/15şC. Misión San Francisco de Borja was not far away, we reached that place in just over an hour. In the settlement, only one family lives there today. The moment we stopped in front of the church, the two women approached us asking if we want to visit the mission. One of them was in her pajamas and robe.

Road to San Borja::Baja California Desert, Mexico::
Road to San Borja
Misión San Francisco de Borja::San Borja, Baja California, Mexico::
Misión San Francisco de Borja
Church Interior::San Borja, Baja California, Mexico::
Church Interior
Spiral Stone Staircase::San Borja, Baja California, Mexico::
Spiral Stone Staircase

Starting in 1759, the Jesuits along with local Indians erected the small adobe temple. However, it did not last for long. Only fragments of the walls stand to this day. Dominicans that came later build out of stone. They erected a new mission, next to the Jesuits buildings. Completed in 1801, we can see these buildings today. I must admit that it is quite remarkable that they still stand in excellent condition. Probably due to the remote location, there was nobody who was interested in tearing down the walls and stealing stone to raise private houses. Unfortunately, this is a typical fate of such properties when they become abandoned. In 1818, this was the fate of San Borja when all missionaries left the place as the native population in this part of the peninsula completely disappeared. The mission not only lost its sense of existence, but also the work force to support it.

Stone Baptismal Font::San Borja, Baja California, Mexico::
Stone Baptismal Font
The Side Door::San Borja, Baja California, Mexico::
The Side Door
The Church Entrance::San Borja, Baja California, Mexico::
The Church Entrance
Two Church Bells::San Borja, Baja California, Mexico::
Two Church Bells

We spent the afternoon in Bahia de Los Angeles. After late lunch, we continued our journey south. Right before sunset, we arrived at Las Flores, the precious metals, gold and silver mining place. Walking around, we found a small railway embankment and the old cemetery. Best-preserved building was a small prison.

Remainings of the Jesuit Church::San Borja, Baja California, Mexico::
Remainings of the Jesuit Church
Elephant Cactus::San Borja, Baja California, Mexico::
Elephant Cactus
The Jailhouse::Las Flores, Baja California, Mexico::
The Jailhouse

© 2015 Maciej Swulinski