In addition to the Alamo, which is managed by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, four other San Antonio missions form the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. They were established by Franciscan friars in the early 18th century. A map for the "Mission Trail" driving route (signed on city streets) is available from the Visitor Information Center. All missions are open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Mission Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción-Established in 1731, more than 20 years under construction. Massive church with twin towers and cupola is oldest unrestored stone church in U.S., standing as completed in 1755. Adjacent cloister arcade is partly restored. Church acoustics are equated with the Mormon Tabernacle. 807 Mission Rd. Mission San Francisco de la Espada - Also established 1731, favorite of many students of Spanish period in Texas, and popular with photographers. The little church building, restored several times, is still in use. Ruins of walls that once surrounded the mission compound; foundations of a granary; baluarte, or fortified tower, can still be seen. Near the mission is an aqueduct over Piedras Creek, part of mission's irrigation system built in 1740s. System includes dam on San Antonio River and acequia (irrigation ditch) still in use after more than 200 years. The aqueduct is a National Historic Landmark.
Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo - Known as the "Queen of Missions," is both a State and National Historic Site. Founded 1720; church built between 1768-82. Entire mission compound has been restored, including outer wall with Indian dwellings, granary and workshops. Rebuilt flour mill outside north wall was originally constructed about 1790, first in Texas. Visitors are fascinated by rich facade of domed church, and by sculptured exterior of sacristy window known as "the Rose Window," or "Rosa's Window." In granary is model of mission as it looked in late 1700s. 6701 San José Dr. at Mission Rd.
Mission San Juan Capistrano - Like both Espada and Concepción, established 1731. Extensive restoration work has been carried out. Besides charming little chapel with open bell tower, there are ruins of a larger church that was never completed. Restored missionary residence displays artifacts from Spanish colonial period. Church still serves community of Berg's Mill, now part of city. Graf Rd. off Mission Rd.
Hours: All missions are open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day
Address: 2202 Roosevelt Ave.
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