Mission Bells on the 101 Freeway and other locations have been in place since the early 20th Century to mark the original route of El Camino Real (Spanish for Highway of the King or Royal Highway) from San Diego to Sonoma. The 700-mile-long El Camino Real linked California's 21 missions, which were founded by Father Junipero Serra and spaced approximately one day's journey apart by horse. Over the years, El Camino Real gave way to modern highways, principally Routes 101 and 82.
Mission San Juan Capistrano founded in 1776. Named for Saint John of Capistran Italy. 7th in CA chain of Missions. Destroyed by earthquake in 1812, parts were rebuilt in 1813. Only original structure is the chapel in photo still standing today in which Father Serra officiated. Located in San Juan Capistrano