The Missions of San Antonio
A list of the five historic San Antonio missions utilized by Spanish missionaries to convert local Native Americans to the Catholic faith.
The Battle of the Alamo, which took place between February 23 and March 6, 1836, accelerated the conflict between Mexico and settlers in the Tejas province that became known as the Texas Revolution. Texas declared independence from Mexico in 1836 after years of confrontations between its inhabitants (including the large number of Americans who moved to Texas and outnumbered the Mexicans there) and the Mexican government. Politician-frontiersman Davy Crockett and Colonel William Travis led the fight for the rebels along with Jim Bowie. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and General Martin Perfecto de Cos laid siege to the Alamo. The battle ended in total defeat for the Texans. All 180-250 Texans were either killed during the fighting or were executed. It is not known how many Mexicans died but the number is estimated at 600. Santa Ana assumed that the defeat would compel Texans to abandon the uprising. However, the opposite occurred as the loss galvanized support among Americans, many of whom went to Texas to join the Texan army, which eventually defeated Mexico at the Battle of San Jacinto. This secured, to some degree, legitimacy, and security for the Texas Republic, which was annexed by the United States in 1845. However, the tension between Mexico and the United States would not be resolved until the end of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). The Alamo is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. It is also part a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the four other nearby missions.
Mission Concepción is the oldest unrestored stone church in America. This mission was named in honor of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and Juan de Acuña, the Marqués de Casafuerte. The Marqués was Viceroy of New Spain (Mexico) when the mission transferred to the San Antonio River area in 1731. This church took 20 years to build and was dedicated in 1755. It appears very much as it did over two centuries ago when it was built to convert the Hasinai. The Battle of Concepción was fought here on October 28, 1835 between Mexican troops under Colonel Domingo Ugartechea and Texian insurgents led by James Bowie and James Fannin. The mission was designated a National Historic Landmark on April 15, 1970
"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 José shows the visitor how all the missions might have looked over 250 years ago." [from naps.gov]
After Mission San José de los Nazonis, which was established in 1716 in East Texas relocated to the banks of the San Antonio River in 1731, it was re-established along the banks of the San Antonio River in 1731. Despite struggles with violent native groups and the residents succumbing to a number of diseases, Mission San Juan thrived throughout the 18th century as a regional agricultural provider, servicing other missions and settlements from Louisiana to Mexico. Today, the mission church still hosts mass multiple times a week.
Originally established in 1690 as San Francisco de los Tejas near Weches and renamed Mission San Francisco de la Espada when it was relocated to the San Antonio River area in 1731, this was the first mission in Texas. In 1745, a friary was built on site, and in 1756, the church was completed. Today, Mission San Francisco de la Espada is known for its well-preserved irrigation system which was used in order to carry water from the San Antonio River across Piers Creek and to the mission crops.