What was daily life at Mission San Gabriel Arangel like and how was it built?

San Gabriel is a particularly interesting mission. It was the fourth mission, founded on September 8, 1771. The present church was begim om 1791 and not completed until 1805. It is Moorish in appearance, with capped buttresses and long narrow windows. It has an appearance that is found in no other mission. Experts thing that the design can be traced to the Cathedral of Cordova, Spain. One of the priests who served at San Gabriel, Fr. Antonio Cruzado was in charge of the building of the original church, and he was born and brought up in Cordova.

This was a very successful mission. You can learn more about the mission's history by taking the visual journey on our website. You can pause the video and take notes.

Life at the missions is described in several questions and answers on our website. Remember that the missions were very regulated and so life was very similar from mission to mission during the Spanish era particularly, so questions and answers on other mission apply to San Gabriel.

Here is an interesting fact. San Gabriel had the second largest herd of livestock in the entire mission chain. As of December 31, 1832, (two years before the secularization of the missions)San Garield had 16,500 cattle, 8,500 sheep, 40 goats, 60 pigs, 1,200 horses and 42 mules.

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