San Juan Capistrano is a city in south Orange County, California, United States.
San Juan Capistrano is a rarity in California and unique in Orange County, a community whose foundation was laid by the earliest people to inhabit the land, and a community still evolving after more than 220 years. Before the arrival of Europeans in Orange County, the Indians of the area were largely peaceful hunter-gatherers. Tribes had a monarchic form of government, with leadership passing within one family, and a council of men who aided that leader. War was never waged for conquest, but to avenge crimes against family members or leaders. A deity called Chinigchinich was worshiped in religious ceremonies held in a small temple structure located in the center of each community.
The region was populated by the Acjachemen band of Native Americans, called Juaneños by the Spanish. San Juan Capistrano is named after the Catholic mission Mission San Juan Capistrano which was founded in 1776. The mission was named after Giovanni da Capistrano, the Franciscan saint from Capestrano, in the Italian region of Abruzzo.
The city was created around the Mission San Juan Capistrano, and many of the homes and strip malls resemble the Spanish architecture that composes the building. It is home to the widest variety of homes in Orange County, including those built prior to 1900, in its central district (some being adobes from the 18th century).
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