The wilderness that is now known as San Antonio and South Texas was primarily settled by Spanish Catholic priests. And ... 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.
Took the main bus tour of the four missions. Two of them are the main ones, Mission San Jose and Mission Concepcion, the other two haven't been restored at all yet.. And the years have taken it's toll on those two.
The two main missions were very interesting and informative. After seeing the second one, it was enough to just stay on the bus and look at the other two as people got off and on..
The information that you gain is surprising. There is so much more than what was taught in school, or maybe I just missed that lesson. But I took alot of that info home with me, and it'll stay with me.
Great trip, and very informativc..
When I went it was exciting. I loved the fact that there were kids playing instruments. I loved the woman who sang with the two young women behind her doing harmony. They sounded really great. Even the young men were singing the soprano part very well. After the mass was exciting, because the mariachi choir sang and played a few popular song that had everyone clapping.The mariachi mass was exciting, and lively. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
The tour guides are friendly, and extremely knowledgeable about every detail of the missions. Dates, times, who lived there, why they are still preserved and other facts. It's truly amazing to see history up close and just not a "picture in a history book."
What a place of strength and serenity! I could visit the Alamo a thousand times over and still feel like its my first time there. Everything is free to see and open to the general public almost all day. The late hours until 7pm during peak holiday season was a treat. Going later there were fewer people which made it much easier to see the sights. Definitely a family destination, especially those with children of school age, very educational!
We did a series of photo's before our wedding at Mission Espanada. We were a little set off by the mistakes about St Francis. (of the sword?) That is a error that the frier was able to explain in a wonderful chat we were able to have with him. All the missions are beautiful and worth seeing. My wife wants to go back to TX again just to see the missions and to chat with the Frier again. This time having enough time to enjoy the chat and discuss the history.
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.
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 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.