Complementing the mission was a majestic and beautiful church that was completed in 1806. It was known as the Great Stone Church. Unfortunately, the church collapsed in an 1812 earthquake. All that is left of the Great Stone Church are ruins, though they provide insight into just how grand the structure was. A close-up view of the ruins of Mission San Juan Capistrano’s “Great Stone Church,” dubbed by architects the “American Acropolis” in reference to its classical Greco-Roman style. “The most important and pretentious building of the whole Mission period…” was modeled after the Byzantine cathedrals scattered throughout Europe and Western Asia.