Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo ~ San Jose (1720)
Soon after the building of the Alamo, a second mission was founded in 1720 about five miles downstream. Named San Jose, this new mission was established by Fray Antonio Margil de Jesus, who had previously left a failed mission in East Texas. A model among the Texas missions, San Jose gained a reputation as a major social and cultural center. Among the San Antonio missions, it also provided the strongest garrison against raids from Indians.
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. The stairway that leads to the belfry and choir loft is an incredible showcase of workmanship; 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...
Did You Know?
That the four churches within San Antonio Missions National Historical Park are active Catholic parish churches? While they have not been in continuous operation since established in the early 1700s, many parishioners today are direct descendants of the mission Indians who built the churches.