The only remaining mission still true to its original purpose of serving the Native American population, this small outpost on the grounds of the Pala Indian Reservation was founded in 1815 as a branch of San Luis Rey mission. Pala's isolated location spared it some of the scavenging that stripped other mission buildings in the years following secularization, and ownership was returned to the Catholic Church in 1903. The dark, narrow chapel interior reveals drawings of Native American motifs, restored after an overzealous pastor whitewashed them.
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