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San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano is unique in Orange County and a rarity in California, a community whose foundation was laid by the earliest people to inhabit the land, and a community still evolving after more than 220 years.

San Juan Capistrano is the site of a Catholic mission for which it is named, Mission San Juan Capistrano. At the time the Mission was founded in 1776, the region was populated by the Acjachemen band of Native Americans, called Juaneños by the Spanish. They had resided in the area for approximately 10,000 years. The mission was named after Giovanni da Capistrano (1386–1456), the Franciscan saint from Capestrano, in the Italian region of Abruzzo.

The city is the site of California's oldest post-colonial residential neighborhood, Los Rios. It is also the home of the oldest in-use building in California, the Serra Chapel in the Mission. The area was the site of both the first vineyard and first winery in California.

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