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Corner of Davis and Salvatierra on the Historic Plaza

Loreto, B.C.S., Mexico 23880

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Loreto Capital of West Coast

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Loreto Capital of West Coast decorated for Dia de la Independencia

Loreto Capital of the Baja Sur West Coast

Loreto, Capital of West Coast: Spain claimed – and loosely controlled – most of the west coast of North America into the 1800’s. For about 130 years, besides being the center of religious expansion and mission building, Loreto was the administrative capital for all of Spain’s territory in “the Californias.” It lost that position to La Paz in 1829 following a hurricane, at a time when Spain was already in the process of losing much of the claimed territory, and much of the present southwestern United States, to its northern neighbor.

The Capital of West Coast at the center of Mision Building

“The town was founded in 1697 by Jesuit missionaries, who found a steady spring of fresh water on this site, as the Misión Nuestra Señora de Loreto. The Jesuits were expelled in 1767, and control of the Baja California missions was given to the Franciscans. In 1769, the Franciscans were ordered to turn over the Baja missions to the Dominican order and accompany the expedition of Gaspar de Portolà to establish new missions in the unexplored northern frontier that became Alta California. The expedition departed from Loreto on March 24, 1769.[1]

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