The wilderness that is now known as San Antonio and South Texas was primarily settled by Spanish Catholic priests. And appare... More
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
The wilderness that is now known as San Antonio and South Texas was primarily settled by Spanish Catholic priests. And apparently priests with exquisite taste in architecture. Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada, the four historical missions that compose what is known as the Mission Trail, all possess very distinct and beautiful detailing in their designs and constructions. The history behind each is intriguing and far too expansive to even touch upon in this review. As far as attractions go, however, this one is definitely a "must see." Admission is free.
Reviews for San Antonio Missions National Historical Park: 4
By A Yahoo! Contributor, 07/06/2005
Our visit to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park was one of the highlights of our trip to San Antonio. The buildings are beautiful. If you have kids with you, I highly recommend having them do the Junior Ranger program. They really learn a lot and it makes the visit more fun. We especially loved Mission Espada. My daughter received her Junior Ranger badge here and the staff were so nice that it will have a special place in our memories.
I visited all the Missions in one day and these areas really moved me. The quiet atmosphere and wonder on how these missionaries lived and learned while living in these areas fasinates the mind; many adobe fireplaces and housing areas still remain; beautiful rose window at the San Jose; church area renovations on where they prayed and worshiped.
I only went to see two of the four missions on the trail. Mission San Jose is the restored of the four; it is the park center. At the visitors' center there is a theatre with a short film on the history of the missions, the effects that the had on the Native Americans and how these effects have translated into the culture of the Latin American people. There is also a guided tour from one of the park rangers, which tells about the background of the missions.
Before the Texas revolution and the battle at the Alamo, even before Anglos settled in the region now known as Texas, the Spanish people came to the New World for Gold, Glory and God. In what would become San Antonio, there was no gold and no significant battles for glory, so the Spanish turned their attention to converting the Native Americans to Christianity. These missions were the first established communities in this region.
If you time, you should see all of the missions. If pressed for time, you should atleast see Mission San Jose as it has the tour and the film that describe the history of the missions. All exhibits and shows are free, so it's an extremely good value. It is very educational and well worth the time spent.