|The Alamo is the icon of the
Spanish missions in San Antonio. However, there are 4 other missons,
built around the same time, which still stand. Each mission
is unique, with it's own character.
Alamo - Originally named Mission
San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo served as home to
missionaries and their Indian converts for nearly seventy years.
Construction began on the present site in 1724. In 1793, Spanish
officials secularized San Antonio's five missions and distributed their
lands to remaining Indian residents. These men and women continued to
farm the fields, once the mission's but now their own, and participated
in the growing community of San Antonio.
San Jose - Mission San Jose y San
Miguel de Aguayo
Known as the "Queen of
the Missions," this is the largest of the missions and was almost fully
restored to its original design in the 1930s by the WPA (Works Projects
Administration). Spanish missions were not churches, but
communities, with the church the focus. Mission San Jose shows the
visitor how all the missions might have looked over 250 years
ago. Mission San Jose is an active parish.
Visitors are welcome to attend mass on Sundays.
San Juan - Mission San Juan
Originally founded in 1716 in eastern
Texas, Mission San Juan was transferred in 1731 to its present
location. In 1756, the stone church, a friary, and a granary were
completed. A larger church was begun, but was abandoned when half
complete, the result of population decline.
Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion de Acuna
stone church was dedicated in 1755, and appears very much as it did
over two centuries ago. It stands proudly as the oldest unrestored
stone church in America. This handsome stone
church took about 20 years to build. It appears very much as it did
over two centuries ago. Due to the fact that it was built directly on
bedrock, it never lost its roof, or its integrity. It remains the least
restored of the colonial structures within the Park.
San Francisco de la Espada
Founded in 1690 as San Francisco de los Tejas near present-day Weches,
Texas, this was the first mission in Texas. In 1731, the mission
transferred to the San Antonio River area and renamed Mission San
Francisco de la Espada. A friary was built in 1745, and the church was
completed in 1756.
you desire more information on the missions, an Internet
search will reveal volumes.