We visited San Antonio in 2004 on The Great Western Adventure with a couple of our friends... While there we explored many beautiful parts of this historic city... The most memorable was when we visited the 5 missions of San Antonio. Here are some pictures and a brief history of just one of them.
San Jose' Mission
While the Alamo is the most widely known and visited, travelers shouldn't make it their sole stop inside San Antonio Missions National Park. There are 5 missions in all on this magnificent tour... The San José, established in 1720, was a model for other missions--and the most prosperous. Located just south of the Alamo, this “Queen of the Missions” represented a social and cultural center. Its 300 residents sustained themselves by raising livestock and tending to vast fields. The mission had its own gristmill and granary, which have been restored. At the church, you can enjoy seeing carvings, quatrefoil patterns, and the famed “Rose Window,” a superb example of Spanish Colonial ornamentation. Explore the stairway that leads to the belfry and choir loft; all 25 risers were hand-hewn form a single log and assembled without the use of nails or pegs. You can also spend time reflecting in the beautiful gardens...
Here are Chris, Jeannie & me
sitting in a big tree (NO... we didn't bend the branch) & where the Indians lived
Rose Window & Stairway to belfry
Ralph, Norm & Jeannie outside of mission
A view of the inside
Did You Know?
That Spanish missions were not churches? They were Indian towns, with the church as the focus, where, in the 1700s, the native people were learning to become Spanish citizens. In order to become a citizen, they had to be Catholic; that is why the King of Spain sent missionaries to acculturate them.